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MOOCOTY HSOIUTION TiST CH«>T 

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THE POEMS OF 
OSCAR WILDE 



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1 



THE POEMS OF 
OSCAR WILDE 



Authorized Edition 



TORONTO 

THE MUSSON BOOK COMPANY 

Limited 






Firit PiblMei— 

Batenna .... 1S7S 

Poemt .... issi 

The Sphijix . jg94 

The Ballad of Beading Gaol 1S9S 

tint iMued by Methuen and Co. IBOS 



PAN and DESKSPOIR 

CopTnioHT, 1909, 

Bt L. E. Bassktt 



923082 






RcroRH Ci-UB, Pall Mall, S. W., 
11th February, 1909. 

DcAR Sim: 

I am gratified to leam from Messrs. Methuen & Co. 
that they have arranged with you to bring out the au- 
thorised edition of Oscar Wilde's Works. It has been a 
matter of great distress to me that owing to traditional 
English carelessness the copyrights of some of Wilde's 
worlis should be vitiated in the United States of America, 
and that Wilde's children are unable to benefit by the 
sale of the unauthorised editions. 

In this version which you are issi^g the case is 
happily diiTerent and I cannot do more than express a 
hope that the American admirers of Oscar Wilde will 
show their admiration in a practical way by obtaining his 
worlcs from yourselves in preference to any other pub- 
lisher. 

Since the English complete edition was issued I have 
discovered two other little poems in the possession of a 
friend: both of which are unpublished. I have much 
pleasure in sending them to you, as you may be able to 
incorporate them in your forthcoming volume of the 
poems, of which they will thus form a unique feature. 

I trust that the American laws relating to copyright 
will enable you to protect the fledgings from being 
plucked by the publishers of unauthorized editions. 

Believe me. Dear Sirs, 

Yours very truly, 

Robert Ross. 
Messrs. John Luce & Co., 
143 Federal Street, 

Boston, Mass., U. S. A. 



CONTENTS 

RAVENNA (18T8) . . . . . , _ "^ 

POEMS (1881): 

H^^"' ai 

ELEUTHERIA: 

Sonnet to Liberty ok 

Ave Imperatrix og 

To Milton * 82 

Louis Napoleon .... «« 
Sonnet on the Massacre of the Christians in 

B"'gari« 34 

Quantum Mutata ..... 35 

Libertatis Sacra Fames .... 86 

Theoretikos a_ 

THE GARDEN OF EROS 39 

ROSAMYSTICA: 

Requiescat e>. 



POEMS 

Sonnet on approaching Italy 

San Miniato 

Ave Maria Gratia Pleni 

lUlia .... 

Sonnet written in Holy Week at Genoa, 

Rome Unvisited . . 

Urbs Sa;ra iGtema 

Sonnet on hearing the Dies Ira? )ng in the 

Sistine Chapel 
Easter Day . 
E Tenebris . 
Vita Niiova . 
Madonna Mia 
The New Helen 

THE BURDEN OF ITYS . 



sa 

59 
60 
61 
68 
63 
67 



70 
71 

78 
73 

79 



WIND FLOWERS: 

Impression du Matin 101 

Magdalen Walks lOa 

Athanasia 105 

Serenade 109 

Endymion . Ill 

La Bella Donna della mia Mente . . .113 

Chanson 115 

CHARMIDES 117 



CONTENTS 

FLOWERS OF GOLD: 

ImprMjions: I. Lm Silhouettes ... 186 

iJ. La Fuite de la Lune . . 166 

The Grave of Keats 1S7 

Theocritus: A Villanelle .... 158 
In the Gold Room : A Harmon v . . .159 

Ballade de Marguerite .... 160 

The Dole of the King's Daughter . . 168 
Amor Intellectualig . . . .165 

Santa Decca jgg 

A Vision j~- 

Impreasion de Voyage jgg 

The Grave of Shelley jgg 

By the Amo j-^ 

IMPRESSIONS DE THEATRE : 

Fabien dei Franchi . ■^J, 

Sonnets wntten at the Lyceum Tlientre : 

I. Portia I~- 

II. Queen Henrietta Mai i«, . . .178 
Camma ,_„ 

PANTHEA jgj 

THE FOURTH MOVEMENT: 

Impression : Le R^veillon . . . .195 
At Verona ,no 



POEMS 

pAoa 

Apologia 197 

Quia Multum Amavi 199 

Silentium Amoris SOO 

Her Voice POl 

My Voice 203 

Taedium Vitae - 304 

HUMANITAD 206 

FLOWER OF LOVE: 

rAVKYniKPoi EPOS 231 



UNCOLLECTED POEMS (1876-1893): 






From Spring Days to Winter 


287 


AJXtnoK, atXtvov elire, to S ei viki 


TO) 




239 


The True Knowledge . 






2M 


Lotus Leaves 






241 


Wasted Days 






244 


Impressions : i. Le Jardiii . 






245 


11. La luer 






246 


Under the Balcony 






247 


The Harlot's House . 






249 


Le Jardin des Tuileries 






251 


On the Sale by Auction of Keats' Love 




Letten 






2S8 



CONTENTS 

The New Remone g58 

Fantaisies Decoratives: i. Le Fanneau 894 

n. Les Ballons 856 

Canzonet 867 

Symphony in Yellow 259 

In the Forest jjgO 

To my Wife : With a Copy of my Poems . 261 

With a Copy of ' A House of Pomegranates ' 862 

Pan 863 

To L. L. (188-1,) 865 

Desespoir 268 

TRANSLATIONS (1876-1880): 

Chorus of Cloud Mr 'dens .... 271 

Qpiln/ila ....... 878 

A Fragment from the Agamemnon of 

.iGschylos 277 

Sen Artysty ; or, the Artist's Dream . . 281 

THE SPHINX (1894): 287 

THE BALLAD OF READING GOAL: 

(1898) 811 



Nemdigate Prize Poem 

RAVENNA 

Recited in the Slieldonian Theatre 

Oxford 

June 26th, 1878 



TO MY FBIIEND 

GEOKGE FLEMING 

AUTHOR OP 
'the NILE NOVEL* AND 'llinAOl 



Ravenna, March 1877 
Oxford, March 1873 



RAVBUNA U iiuMmt in IkU m lm mt 
ty Knn>««im (^ tlu ttnur tf li« tntf 
rilU, Mr. Oil-, boolatUer, rf Offvri, 
(tuaxnar l» Mum. Skrimftm), <tka Ml 
hiu (MM mpiu ^ tlu original edilUm. 



I 



RAVENNA 



A YEAR ago I breathed the Italian air,— 
And yet, methinks thi^ northern Spring 
^ is fair, — 
These fields made golden with the flower of 

Marcii, 
The throstle singing on the feathered larch. 
The cawing rooks, the wood-doves fluttering by. 
The little clouds that race across the sky ; 
And fair the violet's gentle drooping head. 
The primrose, pale for love uncoinforted. 
The rose that burgeons on the climbing briar. 
The crocus-bed, (that seems a moon of fire 
Round-girdled with a purple marriage-ring) ; 
And all the flowers of our English Spring, 
Fond snowdrops, and the bright-starred daffodil. 
Up starts the lark beside the murmuring mill, 
And breaks the gossamer-threads of early dew ; 
And down the river, like a flame of blue. 
Keen as an arrow flies the water-king. 
While the brown linnets in the greenwood sing. 

8 



POEMS 

A yemr ago I — it seemi a little time 

Since last I saw that lordly southern clime, 

Where flower and fruit to purple radiance blow, 

And like bright lamps the fabled apples glow. 

Full Spring it was— and by rich flowering vinet, 

Dark olive-groves and noble forest-pines, 

I rode at wilt ; the mo'st glad air was sweet, 

Tlie white road rang beneath my horse's feet. 

And musing on Ravenna's ancient name, 

I watched the day till, marked with wounds of 

flame. 
The turquoise sky to burnished gold was turned. 

O how my heart with boyish passion burned, 
When far away across the sedge and mere 
I saw that Holy City rising clear. 
Crowned with her crown of towers t — On and on 
I galloped, racing with the setting sun, 
And ere the crimson after-glow was passed, 
I stood within Ravenna's walls at last I 



How strangely still I no sound of life or joy 
Startles the air ; no 'aughing shepherd-boy 
Pipes on his reed, nor ever through the day 
Comes the glad sound of children at their play : 
O sad, and sweet, and silent 1 surely here 
A man might dwell apart from troublous fear. 



RAVENNA 

Watching the tide of seasons as they flow 
From amorous Spring to Winter's rain and 

snow. 
And have no thought of sorrow ;— here, indeed. 
Are Lethe's waters, and that fatal weed 
Wliich malces a man forget his fatherland. 

Ay I amid lotus-meadows dost thou stand, 
Lilce Proserpine, with poppy-laden head, 
Guarding the holy ashes of the dead. 
For though thy brood of warrior sons hath 

ceased, 
Thy noble dead are with thee I— they at least 
Are fpithful to thine honour ; — guard them well, 
O childless city I for a mighty spell, 
To wake men's hearts to dreams of things sub- 
lime, 
Are the lone tombs where rest the Great of 
Time. 



in 

Yon lonely pillar, rising on the plain, 
Marks where the bravest knight of France was 

slain, — 
The Prince of chivalry, the Lord of war, 
Gaston de Foix ; for some untimely star 
Led him against thy city, and he fell. 
As falls some forest-lion fighting well. 

S 



POEMS 

Taken from life while life and love were new. 
He lies beneath God's seamless veil of blue ; 
Tall lance-like reeds wave sadly o'er his head. 
And oleanders bloom to deeper red, 
Where his bright youth flowed crimson on the 
ground. 

Look farther north unto that broken mound, — 
There, prisoned now within a lordly tomb 
Raised by a daughter's hand, in lonely gloom, 
Huge-limbed Theodoric, the Gothic king, 
Sleeps after all his weary conquering. 
Time hath not spared his ruin, — wind and rain 
Have broken down his stronghold ; and again 
We see that Death is mighty lord of all, 
And king and clown to ashen dnst must fall. 

Mighty indeed their glory ! yet to me 
Barbaric king, or knight of chivalry. 
Or the great queen herself, were poor and 

vain. 
Beside the grave where Dante rests from pain. 
His gilded shrine lies open to the air ; 
And cunning sculptor's hands have carven there 
The calm white brow, as calm as earliest morn, 
The eyes that flashed with passionate love and 

scorn. 
The lips that sang of Heaven and of Hell, 
The almond-face which Giotto drew so well, 

6 



RAVENNA 

The weary face of Dante ;— to this day. 
Here in his place of resting, far away 
From Amo's yellow waters, rushing down 
Through the wide bridges of that fairy town, 
Where the tall tower of Giotto seems to rise 
A marble lily under sapphire skies I 
Alas 1 my Dante ! thou hast known the pain 
Of meaner hves,— the exile's galling chain. 
How steep the stairs within kings' houses are. 
And all the petty miseries which mar 
Man's nobler nature with the sense of wrong. 
Yet this dull world is grateful for thy song; 
Our nations do thee homage, — even slie, 
That cruel queen of vine-clad Tuscany, 
Who bound with crown of thorns thy living 
brow. 

Hath decked thine empty tomb with laurels 

now, 
And begs in vain the ashes of her son. 

O mightiest exile ! all thy grief is done : 
Thy soul walks now beside thy Beatrice; 
Ravenna guards thine ashes : sleep in peace. 



nr 



How lone this palace is ; how grey the walls I 
No minstrel now wakes echoes in these halls. 
The broken chain lies rusting on tlie door, 

V 



POEMS 

And noisome weeds have split the marble 

floor: 
Here lurks the snake, and here the lizards run 
By the stone lions blinking in the sun. 
Byron dwelt here in love and revelry 
For two long years — a second Anthony, 
Who of the world another Aetium made I 
Yet suffered not his royal soul to fade, 
Or lyre to break, or lance to grow less keen, 
'Neath any wiles of an Egyptian queen. 
For from tlie Ec.st there ci.iiie a mighty cry. 
And Greece stood up to fight for Liberty, 
And called him from Ravenna : never knight 
Rode forth more nobly to wild scenes of fight! 
None fell more bravely on ensanguined field. 
Borne like a Spartan back upon his shield I 
O Hellas 1 Hellas I in thine hour of pride. 
Thy day of might, remember him who died 
To wrest from off thy limbs the trammelling 

chain: 
O Salamis ! O lone Plataean plain 1 
O tossing waves of wild Euboean sea I 
O wind-swept heights of lone Thermopylae 1 
He loved you well — ay, not alone in word. 
Who freely gave to thee his lyre and sword, 
Ijike iEschylos at well-fought Marathon : 

And England, too, shall glory in her son, 
Her warrior- poet, first in. song and fight 

a 



RAVENNA 

No longer now shall Slander's venomed spite 
Crawl like a snake across his perfect name. 
Or mar the lordly scutcheon of his fame. 

For as the olive-garland of the race, 
Which lights with joy each eager runner's face. 
As the red cross which saveth men in war. 
As a flame-bearded beacon seen from far 
By mariners upon a storm-tossed sea,— 
Such was his love for Greece and Liberty I 

Byron, thy crowns are ever fresh and green : 
Red leaves of rose from Sapphic Mitylene 
Shall bind thy brows; the myrtle blooms for 

thee, 
In hidden glades by lonely Castaly ; 
The laurels wait thy coming: all are thine. 
And round thy head one perfect wreath will 

twine. 



The pine-tops rocked before the evening 
breeze 
With the hoarse murmur of tl *^intry seas, 
And the tell stems were streaked with amber 

bright ; — 
I wandered through the wood in wild delight, 
Some startled bird, with fluttering wings and 
fleet. 



\ 



POEMS 

Made snow of all tlie blossoms ; at my feet, 
Like silver crowns, the pale narcissi lay. 
And small birds sang on every twining spray. 
O waving trees, O forest liberty ! 
Within your haunts at least a man is free, 
And half forgets the weary world of strife : 
The blood flows hotter, and a sense of life 
Wakes i' the quickening veins, while once again 
The woods are filled with gods we fancied 

slain. 
Long time 1 watched, and surely hoped to see 
Some goat-foot Pan make merry minstrelsy 
Amid the reeds 1 some startled Dryad-maid 
In girlish flight ! or lurking in the glade. 
The soft brown limbs, the wanton treacherous 

face 
Of woodland god I Queen Dian in the chase, 
White-limbed and terrible, with look of pride. 
And leash of boar-hounds leaping at her side 1 
Or Hylas mirrored in the perfect stream. 

O idle heart ! O fond Hellenic dream ! 
Ere long, with melancholy rise and swell. 
The evening chimes, the convent's vesper-bell. 
Struck on mine ears amid the amorous flowers. 
Alas ! alas 1 these sweet and honied hours 
Had whelmed my heart like some encroaching 

sea. 
And drowned all thoughts of black Gethsemane. 

10 



RAVENNA 

VI 

nP}°^^ ^^enna 1 many a tale is told 
Of thy great glories in the days of old • 
Two thousand years have passed since thou 

didct see 
C»sar ride forth to royal victory. 
Mighty thy name when Rome's iean eagles flew 
From Britain's isles to far Euphrates blue; 
And of the peoples thou wast noble queen, 
Till in thy streets the Goth and Hun were seen 
Discrowned by man, deserted by the sea. 
Thou sleepest, rocked in lonely misery! 
No longer now upon thy swelling tide, 
Pine-forest-like, thy myriad galleys ride I 
For where the brass-beaked ships were wont to 

float. 
The weary shepherd pipes his mournful note; 
And the white sheep are free to come and go 
Where Adria's purple waters used to flow. 

O fair I O sad I O Queen uncomforted 1 
In mined loveliness thou liest dead. 
Alone of all thy sisters ; for at last 
Italia's royal warrior hath passed 
Rome's lordliest entrance, and hath worn his 

crown 
In the high temples of the Eternal Town! 
Ihe Palatine hath welcomed back lier king 
And with his name the seven mountains ring! 

11 



POEMS 

And Naples hath outlived her dream of pain. 
And mocks her tyrant 1 Venice lives again, 
New risen from the waters 1 and the c-y 
Of Light and Truth, of Love and Liberty, 
Is heard in lordly Genoa, and where 
The marble spires of Milan wound the air. 
Rings from the Alps to the Sicilian shore. 
And Dante's dream is now a dream no more. 

But thou, Ravenna, better loved than all. 
Thy ruined palaces are but a pall 
That hides thy fallen greatness 1 and thy name 
Burns like a grey and flickering candle-flame, 
Beneath the noonday splendour of the sun 
Of new Italia ! for the night is done. 
The night of dark oppression, and the day 
Hath dawned m passionate splendour : far away 
The Austrian hounds are hunted from the land. 
Beyond those ice-crowned citadels which stand 
Girdling the plain of royal Lombardy, 
From the far West untu the Eastern sea. 

I know, indeed, that sons of thine have died 
In Lissa's waters, by *:he mountain-side 
Of Aspromonte, on iVovara's plain, — 
Nor have thy children died for thee in vain : 
And yet, methirLs, thou hast not drunk this 

wine 
From grapes new-crushed of Liberty divine, 

12 



RAVENNA 

Thou hast not followed that immortal Star 
Which leads the people forth to deeds uf war 
Weary of life, thou liest in silent sle»p 

As one who marks the lengthening 'shadows 
creep, 

Careless of all the hurrying hours that run, 
Mourning some day of glory, for the sun 
Of Freedom hath not shewn to thee his face. 
And thou hast caught no flambeau in the race. 

Yet wake not from thy slumbers.-rest thee 
well, 

Amidst thy fields of amber asphodel 
Thy lily-sprinkled meadows,-rest thee there. 
10 mock all human greatness :• who would dare 
lo vent the paltry sorrows of his life 
Before thy ruins, or to praise the strife 
Of kings' ambition, and the barren pride 
Of warring nations ! wert not thou the Bride 
Of the wild Lord of Adria's stormy sea! 
The Queen of double Empires ! and to thee 
V\ ere not the nations given as thy prey 1 
And now-thy gates lie open night and day. 
The grass grows green on every tower and hall, 
1 he gliastly hg hath cleft thy bastioned wall • 
And where thy mailed warriors stood at rest ' 
Ihe midnight owl hath made her secret nest 
O fellen ! fallen ! from thy high estate. 
O city trammeUed in the toils of Fate, 

18 



Ml 



POEMS 

Doth nought remun of all thy glorious days, 
But a dull shield, a crown of withered bays I 

Yet who beneath this night of wars and fears. 
From tranquil tower can watch the coming 

years; 
Who can foretell what joys the day shall bring. 
Or why before the dawn the linnets sing ? 
Thou, even thou, mayst wake, as wakes the rose 
To crimson splendour from its grave of snows ; 
As the rich corn-fields rise to red and gold 
From these brown lands, now stiff with Winter's 

cold ; 
As from the storm-rack comes a perfect star I 

O much-loved city I I have wandered far 
From the wave- circled islands of my home ; 
Have seen the gloomy mystery of the Dome 
Rise slowly from the drear Campagna's way, 
Clothed in the royal purple of the day : 
I from the city of the violet crown 
Have watched the sun by Corinth's hill go down. 
And marked the ' myriad laughter ' of the sea 
From starlit hills of flower-starred Arcady ; 
Yet back to thee returns my perfect love. 
As to its forest-nest the evening dove. 

O poet's city 1 one who scarce has seen 
Some twenty summers cast their doublets green, 
14 



RAVENNA 

For Autumn's livery, would seek in vain 
To waite his lyre to sing a louder strain. 
Or tell thy days of glory ;— poor indeed 
Is the low murmur of the shepherd's reed, 
Where the loud clarion s blast should shake the 
sky. 

And flame across the heavens I and to try 
Such lofty themes were folly : yet I know 
That never felt my heart a nobler glow 
Than when I woke the silence of thy street 
With clamorous trampling of my horse's feet. 
And saw the city which now I try to sing. 
After long days of weary travelling. 



vn 
Adieu, Ravenna 1 but a year ago, 
I stood and watched the crimson sunset glow 
From the lone chapel on thy marshy plain : 
The sky was as a shield that caught the stain 
Of blood and battle from the dying sun, 
And in the west the circling clouds had spun 
A royal robe, which some great Gtod might 

wear. 
While into ocean-seas of purple air 
Sank the gold galley of the Lord of Light 

Yet here the gentle stillness of the night 

15 



POEMS 

Bring! hack the i v/elling tide ot memory, 
And wakes Again my passionate love for thee i 
Now is the Spring of Love, yet soon will come 
On meadow and tree the Summer's lordly 

bloom ; 
And soon the grass with brighter flowers will 

blow, 
And send up lilies for some boy to mow. 
Then before long the Summer's conqueror, 
Rich Autumn-time, the season's usurer. 
Will lend his hoarded gold to all the trees, 
And see it scattered by the spendthrift breeze ; 
And after that the Winter cold and drear. 
So runs the perfect cycle of the year. 
And so from youth to manhood do we g^o, 
And fall to weary days and locks of snow. 
Love only knows no winter ; never dies : 
For cares for frowning storms or leaden skies. 
And mine for thee shall never pass away. 
Though my weak lips may falter in my lay. 

Adieu I Adieu ! yon silent evening star, 
The night's ambassador, doth gleam afar. 
And bid the shepherd bring his flocks to fold. 
Perchance before our inland seas of gold 
Are garnered by the reapers into sheaves. 
Perchance before I see the Autumn leaves, 
I may behold thy city ; and lay down 
Low at thy feet the poet's laurel crown. 

16 



RAVENNA 

Adieu ! Adieu I yon silver lamp, the moon. 
Which turns our midnight into pirfert u^ 
Where" n^ '«''* *''> t°-«". g"««iing ^ell 
dwei? ^""^' ''^'"' By"" loved to 



17 



POEMS 



HtlLAS! 

TO drift irith every panaion till my ttml 
la a atriuged lute on whkh all windacan play, 
la it for this that I have given away 
Mine ancient wiadom, and auatere control f 
Methivka my life ia a twice-tcritten acroU 
Scrawled over on aome boyiah holiday 
With idle annga for pipe and virelay. 
Which do but mar the aecret of the whole. 
Surely there waa a time I might haveirod 
The aunlit heighta, and from life'a dmmiance 
Stnwk one clear chord to reach the eara qf God: 
la that time dead f lo! with a little rod 

I did but touch the honey of romance 

And must I loae a aouTa inheritance t 



«1 



i 



21 



ELEUTHERIA 



SONNET TO LIBERTY 

NOT that I love thy children, whose dull 
eyes 

See nothing save their own unlovely 
woe, 
Whose minds know nothing, nothing care to 

know, — 
But that the roar of thy Democracies, 
Thy reigns of Terror, tliy great Anarchies, 
Mirror my wildest passions like the sea 

And give my rage a brother -! Liberty I 

For this sake only do thy dissonant cries 
Delight my discreet soul, else might all kings 
By bloody knout or treacherous cannonades 
Rob nations of their rights inviolate 
And I remain unmoved— and yet, and yet. 
These Christs that die upon the barricades, 
God knows it I am with them, in some things. 



I I 



25 



POEMS 






S 



AVE IMPERATRIX 

ET in this stormy Nortliern sea, 

Queen of these restless fields of tide, 
England ! what shall men say of thee, 
Before whose feet the worlds divide ? 



The earth, a brittle globe of glass. 
Lies in the hollow of tliy hand. 

And through its heart of crystal pass, 
Like shadows through a twilight land. 

The spears of crimson-suited war, 

The long white-crested waves of fight. 

And all the deadly fires wliich are 
The torches of the lords of Night. 

The yellow leopards, strained and lean. 
The treacherous Russian knows so well. 

With gaping blackened jaws are seen 
Leap through the hail of screaming shell. 

The strong sea-lion of England's wars 
Hath left his sapphire cave of sea. 

To battle with the storm tliat mars 
The stars of England's chivaky. 
26 



AVE IMPERATRIX 

The brazen-throated clarion blows 

Across the Pathan's reedy fen, 
And the high steeps of Indian snows 

Siiake to the tread of armed men. 

Ai)d many an Afghan chief, who lies 
IJeneath his cool pomegranate-trees, 

Clutches his sword in fierce surmise 
When on the mountain-side he sees 

The fleet-foot Marri scout, who comes 

To tell how he hath heard afar 
The measured roll of English drums 

Beat at the gates of Kandahar. 

For southern wind and east wind- meet 
Where, girt and crowned by sword and fire, 

England with bare and bloody feet 
Climbs tiie steep road of wide empire. 

O lonely Himalayan height, 

Grey pillar of the Indian sky. 
Where saw'st thou last in clanging flight 

Our wing6d dogs of Victory I 

The almond-groves of Samarcand, 

Bokhara, where red lilies blow, 
And Ox us, by whose yellow sand 

The grave white-turbaned merchants go : 

27 



I '■ 



l'' ' 



POEMS 

And on from thence to Ispahan, 

The gilded garden of the sun. 
Whence the long dusty caravan 

Brings cedar wood and vermilion ; 

And that dread city of Cabool 
Set at the mountain's scarped feet, 

Whose marble tanks are ever full 
With water for the noonday heat : 

Where through the narrow straight Bazaar 

A little maid Circassian 
Is led, a present from the Czar 

Unto some old and bearded khan, — 

Here have our wild war-eagles flown. 
And flapped wide wings in tiery fight ; 

But the sad dove, that sits alone 
In England — she hath no delight. 

In vain the laughing girl will lean 
To greet her love with love-lit eyes : 

Down in some treacherous black ravine, 
Clutching his flag, the dead boy lies. 

And many a mocn and sun will see 
The lingering wistful children wait 

To climb upon their father's knee ; 
And in each house made desolate 
28 



AVE IMPERATRIX 

Pale women who have lost their lord 
Will kiss the relics of the slain— 

Some tarnished epaulette— some sword 

Poor toys to soothe such anguished pain. 

For not in quiet T5iip[lish fields 
Are these, our brothers, lain to rest, 

Where we might deck their broken shields 
With all the flowers the dead love best. 

For some are by the Delhi walls, 
And many in the Afglian land, 

And many where the Ganges falls 

Through seven mouths of shifting sand. 

And some in Russian waters lie. 
And otiiers in the seas which are 

The portals to the East, or by 

The wind-swept heights of Trafalgar. 

O wandering grave ! O restless sleep 1 

O silence of the sunless day 1 
O still ravine ! O stormy deep 1 

Give up your prey ! Give up your prey I 

And thou whose wounds are never healed. 
Whose weary race is never won, 

O Cromwell's England ! must thou yield 
For every inch of ground a son ? 

29 



' 1 



\*l 



f n 



POEMS 

Go ! crown with thoms thy gold-crowned head. 

Change thy glad song to song of pain ; 
Wind and wild wave have got thy dead, 

And will not yield them back again. 

Wave and wild wind and foreign shore 
Possess the flower of Englisli land — 

Lips tliat thy lips shall kiss no more, 
Hands that shall never clasp thy hand. 

What profit now that we have bound 

The whole round world with nets of gold, 

If hidden in our heart is found 
The care that groweth never old t 

What profit thai or galleys ride, 

Pine-forest-like, on every main ? 
Ruin and wreck are at our side. 

Grim warders of the House of pain. 

Where are the brave, the strong, the fleet ? 

Where is our English chivalry ? 
Wild grasses are their burial-sheet. 

And sobbing waves their threnody. 

O loved ones lying far away, 

What word of love can dead lips send ! 
O wasted dust ! O senseless clay ! 

Is this the end t is this the end I 
SO 



AVE IMPERATIUX 

Pwice, peace 1 we wronjj the noble dead 

To vex their solemn slumber so; 
Though childless, and with tiiom-crowned head, 

Up the steep road must England go. 

Yet when this fiery web is spun, 
Her watchmen shuU descry from far 

The young Republic like a sun 

Rise from these crimson seas of war. 



81 



fi 

I- 



POEMS 



TO MILTON 

MILTON ! I think thy spirit hath passed 
away 
From these white cliffs and high- 
embattled towers ; 
This gorgeous fier> -coloured world of ours 
Seems fallen into ashes dull and grey, 
And the age changed unto a mimic play 
Wherein we waste our else too-crowded 

hours: 
For all our pomp and pageantry and powers 
We are but tit to delve the common clay. 
Seeing this litt'e isle on which we stand. 
This England, this sea-linn of the sea. 
By ignorant demagogues is held in fee. 
Who love her not : Dear God I is this the land 
Which bare a triple empire in her hand 
When Cromwell spake the word Democracy ! 



ELEUTHERIA 



LOUIS NAPOLEON 

EAGLE of Austerlitzl where were thy 
Wings ' 

When far «w„y „,,„„ a barbarous strand. 

Fell th. .* ""!?","'• ''>■ "" "''^'"^« ''-nd. 
t ell the last scion of thy brood of Kings I 

P..or boy^^thou shalt not flaunt thy cloak of 

Or ride in state through Paris in the van 
Of thy returning legions, but instead 
ihy mother France, free and republican. 

Shall on thy dead and crownless forehead place 
The better laurels of « soldier, crown 

down "*'"'^** ''"'"'*' ^^y '°"' »» 

To tell the mighty Sire of thy race 

Th.c /. r- ,. c : ath kissed the mouth of Liberty 
And found It sweeter than his honied bew 

Br. t ^,'* *u' ^'"'' ^"^^ Democracy ' 

Breaks on the shores where Kings lay crouched 



fi 



88 



POEMS 



SONNET 

ON THE MASSACRE OF THE CHWISTIANS 
IN BULGAKIA 

CHRIST, dost thou live indeed? or are 
tliy bones 
Still straitened in their rock-hewn 
sepulchre ? 
And was thy Rising only dreamed by Her 
Whose love of thee for all her sin atones ? 
For here the air is horrid with men's groans, 
The priests who call upon thy name are slam. 
Dost thou not hear the bitter wail of pam 
From those whose children lie upon the stones? 
Come down, O Son of God 1 incestuous gloom 
Curtains the land, and through the starless night 
Over thy Cross a Crescent moon 1 see ! 
If thou in very truth didst burst the tomb 
Come down, O Son of Manl and show thy 

Lest Mahomet be crowned instead of Thee 1 






84 



ELEUTHERIA 



QUANTUM MUTATA 

THERE was a time in Europe long ago 
When no man died for freedom any- 
where, 
But England's lion leaping from its lair 
Laid hands on the oppressor! it was so 
While England could a great Republic show. 
Witness the men of Piedmont, chiefest care 
Of Cromwell, when with impotent despair 
The Pontiff in his painted portico 
Trembled before our stern ambassadors. 
How comes it then that from such high estate 
We have thus fallen, save that Luxury 
With barren merchandise piles up the gate 
Where noble thoughts and deeds should enter 
by: 

Else might we sUU be Milton's heritors 



S5 



POEMS 



LIBERTATIS SACRA FAMES 



A 



LHEIT nurtured in democracy, 

And liking best that state republican 
Where every man is Kinglike and no 
man 
Is crowned above his fellows, yet I see. 
Spite of this modern fret for Liberty, 
Better the rule of One, whom all obey, 
Than to let clamorous demagogues betray 
Our freedom with the kiss of anarchy. 
Wherefore I love them not whose hands profane 
Plant the red flag upon the piled-up street 
Foi no right cause, beneath whose ignorant 
reign 
Arts, Culture, Reverence, Honour, all things 
fade, 
Save Treason and the dagger of her trade. 
Or Murder with his silent bloody feet 



86 



ELEUTHERIA 



THEORETIKOS 

'-pHlS^^^^lghty empire hath but feet of 

,o-,it£^tJ''£i:!:'s-^-«''t 

Some enemy hath stolen its cXn of h 
AndrftSt;;-„1'''''''rf '»<>■-».« of Art 



W' 




•7 



■If 



THE GARDEN OF EROS 



i' •;■ 



Ill 



THE GARDEN OP EROS 

IT is full summer now, the heart of June 
Not yet the sunburnt reapers are astir' 
Upon the upland meadow where too soon 
R ch autumn t.me. the season's usurer. 
W,n lend h,s hoarded gold to all the trees. 
And see his treasure scattered by the wild and 
spendthrift breeze. 

Too soon indeed ! yet here the daffodil. 
That ove-child of the Spring, has lingered on 

Tr^**"".'",? ^''^ J«"'""''y> «nd ''till 
The harebell spreads her azure pavilion. 
And like a strayed and wandering reveller 
Abandoned of its brothers, whom long since 
June's messenger ** 

The missel-thrush has frighted from the glade 
One pale narcissus loiters fearfully 

Close to a shadowy nook, where half afraid 
Of their own loveliness some violets lie 

That wUl not look the gold sun in the facp 

For fear of too much splendour._ah I methinks 
It IS a place 

41 



li 






POEMS 
Which should be trodden by Persephone 

When wearied of the flowerless fields of Dis I 
Or danced on by the lads of Arcady 1 
^ The hidden secret of eternal bliss 
Known to the Grecian here a man might find, 
Ah ! you and I may find it now if Love and 
Sleep be kind. 

There are the flowers which mourning Herakles 
Strewed on the tomb of Hylas, columbine. 

Its white doves all a-flutter where the breeze 
Kissed them too harshly, the small celandine. 

That yellow-kirtled chorister of eve. 

And lilac lady's-smock,— but let them bloom 
alone, and leave 

Yon spired hollyhock red-crocketed 
To sway its silent chimes, else must the bee. 

Its little bellringer, go seek instead 
Some other pleasaunce ; the anemone 

That weeps at daybreak, like a silly girl 

Before her love, and hardly lets the butterflies 
unfurl 



Their painted wings beside it,— bid it pine 
In pale virginity ; the winter snow 

Will suit it better than those lips of thine 
Whose fires would but scorch it, rather go 
42 



THE GARDEN OF EROS 

^nd phjek^that .„o«,us flower which bloods 

''''' ''iu:r'"''^'^ -'''«'-* of •'isses not 
The trumpet-mouths of red convolvulus 

wtetr„%rortr:tT„rr-^-- 

Of Huntress D.an would be loth to mar 

Adonis jealous.-these for thy head .„^ f 
thy girdle take ^ '"ead.-and for 

^Vho^e^gorgeous dye outflames the Tyrian 
"^ButTh^l"""' '"'"' *''"'' "Adding chalices 

48 



-I 

li 



POEMS 

Ah t leave it for s subtle memory 

Of those sweet tremulous days of rain and sun, 
When April laughed between her tears to see 

The early primrose with shy footsteps run 
From the gnarled oak-tree roots till all the wold, 
Spite of its brown and trampled leaves, grew 
bright with shinunering gold. 

Nay, pluck it too, it is not half so sweet 
As thou thyself, my soul's idolatry 1 

And when thou art a-wearied at thy feet 
Shall oxlips weave their brightest tapestry. 

For thee the woodbine shall forget its pride 
And veil its tangled whorls, and thou shalt 
walk on daisies pied. 

And I will cut a reed by yonder spring 
And make the wood-gods jealous, and old 
Pan 
Wonder what young intruder dares to sing 

In these still haunts, where never foot of man 
Should tread at evening, lest he chance to spy 
The marble limbs of Artemis and all her 
company. 

And I will tell thee why the jacinth wears 
Such dread embroidery of dolorous moan, 

And why the hap' is nightingale forbears 
To sing her song at noon, but weeps alone 

44 



THE GARDEN OF EROS 

When the fleet swallow sleeps, and rich men 

feast. 
And why the laurel trembles when she sees the 

lightening east. 

And I will sing how sad Proserpina 
Unto a grave and gloomy Lord was wed. 

And lure the silver-breasted Helena 

Hack from the lotus meadows of the dead 

So shalt thou see that awful loveliness 

For which two mighty Hosts met fearfully in 
war's abyss 1 

And then 1 11 pipe to thee that Grecian tale 
How Cynthia loves the lad Endymion, 

And hidden in a grey and misty veil 
Hies to tne cliflTs of Latmos once the Sun 

Leaps from his ocean bed in fruitless chase 

Of those pale flying feet which fade away in his 
embrace. 



And if my flute can breathe sweet melody 
We may behold Her face who long ago ' 

Dwelt among men by tlie ^Egean sea, 
And whose sad house witli pillaged porUco 

And friezeless wall and columns toppled down 

Looms o'er the ruins of that fair and violet- 
cinctured town. 

45 



POEMS 

Spirit ot Beauty 1 Urry still awliile. 

They are not dead, thine ancient votaries. 
Some few there are to whom thy radiant smile 

Is better than a thousand victories. 
Though all the nobly slain of Waterloo 
Rise up in wrath against them I Uirv still, there 
are a few 

Who for thy sake would give their manlihood 
And consecrate their being, 1 at least 

Have done so, made thy lips my daily food. 
And in thy temples foimd a goodlier feast 

Than this starved age can give me, spite of all 

Iti now-found creeds so sceptical and so dog- 
matical 



Here not Cephissos, not Ilissos flows. 
The woods of white Colonos are not here. 

On our bleak hills the olive never blows. 
No simple priest conducts his lowing steer 

Up the steep marble way, nor through the town 

Do laughing maidens bear to thee the crocus- 
flowered gown. 



Yet tarry I for the boy who loved thee best. 
Whose very name should be a memory 

To make thee linger, sleeps in silent rest 
Beneath the lloman walls, and melody 

4e 



THE GARDEN OF EROS 

The lute of Adon.... with hi. lip, So„g%Ld 



tfie Muses still had 



N»y. when Keats died 
left 

Save for that fierv heart tK.* 

'*r,tes ■'■■■«■ •"«"/■»«.... 

In passionless and fierce virginity 

"JUS laughs to know one knp*. n,;ii u 
before her stiJl. * '^'" ^"^ 

4,7 



w 












POEMS 

And he hath kissed the lips of Proserpine, 

And sung the Galilean's requiem, 
That wounded forehead dashed with blood -ind 
wine 
He hath discrowned, the Ancient Gods in him 
Have found their last, most ardent worshipper. 
And the new Sign grows grey and dim before 
its conqueror. 

Spirit of Beauty I tarry with us still. 
It is not quenched the torch of poesy. 

The star that shook above the Eastern hill 
Holds unassailed its argent armoury 

From all the gathering gloom and fretful fight — 

O tarry with us still I for through the long and 
common night, 

Morris, our sweet and simple Chaucer's child. 
Dear heritor of Spenser's tuneful reed, 

With soft and sylvan pipe has oft beguiled 
Thfc weary soul of man in troublous need. 

And from the far and flowerless fields of ice 

Has brought fair flowers to make an earthly 
paradise. 

We know them all, Gudrun the strong men's 
bride, 
Aslaug and Olafson we know them all. 
How giant Grettir fought and Sigurd died, 
48 



THE GARDEN OF EROS 

summer hours " ">ow oft through 

cool grassy field ""'^ ««• m some 

The strength and splendouf of the stn 

mine ^"* ^^o™ was 

Without the storm s red ruin for th • 

divine. ' *" *''^ «n«er is 

o 

48 



:>l 




II'. I 



I i 



E) i 



POEMS 

The little laugh of water falling down 
Is not so musical, tlie clammy gold 

Close hoarded in the tiny waxen town 
Has less of sweetness in it, and the old 

Half-withered reeds that waved in Aready 

Touciied by his lips break forth again to fresher 
harmony. 

Spirit of Beauty, tarry yet awhile 1 

Althougli the cheating merchants of the mart 
Witli iron roads profane our lovely isle. 

And break on whirling wheels the limbs of Art, 
Ay ! though the crowded factories beget 
The blindworm Ignorance that slays the soul, 
O tarry yet 1 

For One at least there is, — He bears his name 
From Dante and the seraph Gabriel, — 

Whose double laurels burn with deathless flame 
To light thine altar ; He too loves thee well. 

Who saw old Merlin lured in Vivien's snare. 

And the white feet of angels coming down the 
golden stair. 

Loves thee so well, that all the World for him 
A gorgeous-coloured vestiture must wear. 

And Sorrow take a purple diadem. 

Or else be no more Sorrow, and Despair 

Gild its own thorns, and Pain, like Adon, be 

Even in anguish beautiful ; — such is the empery 
M 



THE GARDEN OF EROS 

In aU h,s pity. love, and wariness 
Inan those wlio can h„* '^""^ss. 

Have analysed the rainbow, robbed 1^ "^ 

Of her most ancient cha^t^ f ^ "*^" 

51 



1 1 



^5 

'I 



POEMS 

To make one life more beautiful, one day 
More godlike in its period ? but now the Age 
of Clay 

Returns in horrid cycle, and the earth 
Hath borne a^ain a noisy progeny 

Of ignorant Titans, whose ungodly birth 
Hurls them against the august hierarchy 

Which sat upon Olympus, to the Dust 

They have appealed, and to that barren arbiter 
they must 

Repair for judgment, let them, if they can, 
From Natural Warfare and insensate Chance, 

Create the new Ideal rule for man ! 
Methinks that was not my inheritance ; 

For I was nurtured otherwise, my soul 

Passes from higher heights of life to a more 
supreme goal. 



Lo 1 while we spake the earth did turn away 
Her visage from the God, and H<;cate's 
boat 
Rose silver-laden, till the jealous day 

Blew all its torches out : I did not note 
The waninf "lOurs, to young Endymions 
Time's palsied fingers count in vain his rosary of 
suns I 
52 



THE GARDEN OF EROS 
Mark how the yellow iris wearily 

By its false chamberer, the dragon-fly, 

Sleeps on that snowy primrose of the night. 
Which gins to flush with crimson shame, and 
die beneath :he light. 

Come let us go. against the pallid shield 

Of the wan sky tl>e almond blossoms gleam. 
The corncrake nested in the unmown field 

Un fatful wmg the startled curlews fly 
And m his sedgy bed the lark, for joy that Day 
IS nigh, ' 

Scatters the pearled dew from off the grass 
In tremulous ecstasy to greet the sun. 

Who soon m gilded panoply will pass 
Forth from yon orange-curtained pavilion 

Hung m the burning east, see, the red rim 

Oertops the expectant hills I it is the God! 
tor love of him 

Already the shrill lark is out of sight 
Flooding with waves of song 'this silent 
dell. — 

M 



fl 



■ii ■!. 



POEMS 

Ah I there is something more in that bird's flight 

Than could be tested in a crucible ! 

But the air freshens, let us go, why soon 
The woodmen will be here ; how we have lived 
this night of June 1 



It 



M 



ROSA MYSTICA 



REQUIESCAT 

TREAD lightly, she is near 
Under the snow, 
Speak gently, she can hear 
1 he daisies grow. 

All her bright golden hair 
Tarnished with rust, 

^^^ *l"* ^"* young and fair 
Fallen to dust 

Lily-like, white as snow. 

She hardly knew 
She was a woman, so 

Sweetly she grew. 

Coffin-board, heavy ston^ 

Lie on her breast, 
1 vex my heart alone. 

She is at rest 

Peace. Peace, she cannot hear 

Lyre or sonnet, 
All my life 's buried here, 

Heap earth upon it 
Ationon. 

67 



l\ 



r 


1 . 

1 '^' 


1? ■- 




M 



PO£MS 



SONNET ON APPROACHING ITALY 



i : i 



I REACHED the Alps: the soul within me 
burned, 
Italia, my Italia, at thy name : 
And when from out the mountain's heart I 
came 
And saw the land for which my life had yearned, 
I laughed as one who some great prize had 
earned : 
And musing on the marvel of thy fame 
I watched the day, till marked with wounds 
of flame 
The turquoise sky to burnished gold was turned. 
The pine-trees waved as waves a woman's hair, 
And in the orchards every twining spray 
Was breaking into flakes of blossoming foam : 
But when I knew that far away at Rome 
In evil bonds a second Peter lay, 
I wept to see the land so very fair. 



TUBIN. 



M 



KOSA MYSTICA 



SAN MINTATO 

Up to this holy house of God. 

Who sawti^r'"' *•"* ^"««'-P«nter trod 
^ "o saw the heavens opened wide. 

The'^^rZl "1°" *''*' '"'^"""t moon 
ihe Virginal white Queen of Grace- 

De„f17 u"''* ^ •"'* '*«'« thy face ' 
Death could not come at all too soon. 

My heart is weary of this life 
And over-sad to sing again. 

O crowned by God with love and flame 1 
O crowned by Christ the Holy 0„er 
O hsten ere the searching sun 
Show to the world my sin Ldlme. 



POEMS 



AVE MARIA GRATIA PLENA 



w 



AS this His coining I I had hoped to 



see 



A scf^e of wondrous glory, as was 
toK) 

Of some grt^t God who in a rain of gold 
Broke open bars and fell on Danae : 
Or a dread vision as when Semele 

Sickening for love and unappeased desire 

Prayed to see God's clear body, and the fire 
Caught her brown limbs and slew her utterly : 
With such glad dreams I sought this holy place. 

And now with wondering eyes and heart I 
stand 

Before this supreme mystery of Love : 
Some kneeling girl with passionless pale face. 

An angel with a lily in his hand. 

And over both the white wings of a Dove. 

Flounci. 



60 



KOSA MYSTICA 



ITALIA 

Of battle-spears thy ch.m. -ous ar.r.ie. 
stride 

From the north Alps to the bu ilir.,, ,i,^e 1 
Ay! fallen though the natinn.s i.ail lh«- Queen 
Because nch gold in even, tov^„ is seen 

Of w.nd-filled vans thy myriad gdlcns nde 
Beneath one flag of red and white and green 

I oT' ^T^ L "^ '*^°"« ""'^ I^«- 'n vain , 
Look southward where Rome's desecrated 
town 

Lies mourning for her God-anointed Kinir I 
Look heaven-ward I shall God allow this thing ? 
Nay I but some flame-girt Raphael shall come 
down. 

And smite the SpoUer with the sword of pain. 
Vum 



61 



ij .1 




m 



POEMS 



il i 



SONNET 



WKITTEN IN HOLY WEEK AT GENOA 



through Scoglietto's far 



I WANDERED 
retreat, 
The oranges on each o'erhanging spray 
Burned as bright lamps of gold to shame the 
day; 
Some startled bird with fluttering wings and 

fleet 
Made snow of all the blossoms, at my feet 
Like silver moons the pale narcissi lay : 
And the curved waves that streaked the great 
green bay 
Laughed i' the sun, and life seemed verj aweet 
Outside the young boy-priest passed singing 
clear, 
' Jesus t!je son of Mary has been slain, 
O come and fill his sepulchre with flowers.' 
Ah, God ! Ah, God 1 those dear Hellenic hours 
Had drowned all memory of Thy bitter pain. 
The Cross, the Crown, the Soldiers and the 
Spear. 



62 



HOSA MYSTICA 



ft 



ROME UNVISITED 

I 

Since farst my spirit wandered forth, 

And t« If I " ^^ '''^'"' '='*'« °f the north. 
And to Italia's mountains fled. 

"^Jv !n ^ "^'.r f»<=« towards home, 
A?i "^P'^S'-'^ageisdone, 
Although, methlnks. yon blood-red sun 
Marshals the way to Holy Rome 

O Blessed Lady, who dost hold 
Upon the seven hills thy reign I 

Mother without blot or stain 
Crowned with bright crowns of triple gold I 

O Roma, Roma, at thy feet 

1 lay Miis barren gift of song 1 
For. ah ! the way is steep and lonij 

That leads unto thy sacred street 



88 



POEMS 



n 

AND yet what joy it were for me 
/-\ To turn my feet unto the south, 
•*■ -^ And journeying towards the Tiber 

mouth 
To kneel again at Fiesole 1 

And wandering through the tangled pines 
That break the gold of Arno's stream, 
To see the purple mist and gleam 

Of morning on the Apennines. 

By many a vineyard-hidden liome. 
Orchard and olive-garden grey. 
Till from the drear Campagna's way 

The seven hills bear up the dome 1 



64 



ROME UNVISITED 



III 

A PILGRIM from the northern seas- 
. ,)^ hat joy for me to seek alone 
liie wondrous Temple and the 
throne 
Of Him who holds the awful keys I 

When, bright with purple and with gold. 
Come priest and holy Cardinal, 
And borne above the heads of aU 

i he gentle Shepherd of the Fold. 

O joy to see before I die 
Tlie only God-anointed Kinir 

And hear the silver trumpetf ring 
A triumph as He passes by I 

Or at the brazen-pillared shrine 
Holds high the mystic sacrifice. 
And shows his God to human eyes 

Beneath the veil of bread and wine^ 



POEMS 



17 



FOR lo, what changes time can bring I 
The cycles of revolving years 
May free my heart from all its fears, 
And teach my lips a song to sing. 

Before yon field of trembling gold 
Is garnered into dusty sheaves, 
Or ere the autumn's scarlet leaves 

Flutter as birds adown the wold, 

I may have run the glorious race. 

And caught the torch while yet aflame. 
And called upon the holy name 

Of Him who now doth hide His face. 



Arona. 



ROSA MYSTICA 



URBS SACRA iET'EKNA 

Ruled the whole world for many an ajes span- 
rijen of the peoples wert thou royal oTeSn^ ' 
1 .11 in thy streets the bearded Goth wasTeJn • 
And now upon thy walls the breezes fan ' 
nSn^I)"*"'"'*' by God. discrowned by 
The hated flag of red and white and gr^n. 

^'hi„r '^""t^y ' "''^" •" search for power 
Ihine eagles flew to greet the double sun. 
And the wild nations shuddered at thy rod ? 

Nay, but thy glory tarried for this hour.^ 
When pilgrims kneel before the Holy One 
1 he prisoned shepherd of the Church of G^ 

Monti Mabio. 



POEMS 



SONNET 

ON HEARING THE DIES IR^. SUNG IN THE 
SISTINE CHAPEL 



NAY, Lord, not thus ! white lilies in the 
spring, 
Sad olive-groves, or silver-breasted 
dove. 
Teach me more clearly of Thy life and love 
Than terrors of red flame and thundering. 
The hillside vines dear memories of Thee bring: 
A bird at evening flying to its nest 
Tells me of One who had no place of rest : 
I think it is of Thee the sparrows sing. 
Come rather on some autumn afternoon. 

When red and brown are burnished on the 

leaves. 
And the fields echo to the gleaner's song. 
Come when the splendid fulness of the moon 
Looks down upon the rows of golden sheaves, 
And reap Thy harvest : we have waited long. 



I : 



ROSA MYSTICA 



EASTER DAY" 



rang across the 



THE silver trumpets 
Dome : 

The people knelt upon the ground 
with awe : 
And borne upon the necks of men I saw. 
Like some great God, the Holy Lord of Rome, 
i-nest-hke, he wore a robe more white than 
loam, 
And, king-like, swathed himself in royal red, 
1 hree crowns of gold rose high upon his head : 
In splendour and in light the Pope passed home. 
My heart stole back across wide wastes of years 
1 o one who wandered by a lonely sea 
And sought in vain for any place of rest : 
• l^oxes have holes, and everjr bird its nest. 
I. only I, must wander wearily. 
And bruise my feet, and drink wine salt with 
tears.' 



SH^ :A''.';^"^s4iRit:K' 



POEMS 



E TENEBRIS 

COME down. O Christ, and help me! 
reach thy hand, 
™,. /*"■ ^ '™ ^^--^wning in a stormier sea 
Ihan Simon on '' v lake of Galilee: 
The wine of life is ^pilt upon the sand, 
wu " " **""* famine-murdered land 
Whence all Rood things have perished utterly. 
And well I know my soul in Hell must lie 
Ifl this night before God's throne should stand 
He sleeps perchance, or rideth to the chase. 
Like Baal, when his prophets howled that 
name 

From morn to noon on Carmel's smitten 
"eight. ' 
Nay, peace, I shall behold, before the night, 
The feet of brass, the robe more white than 
name. 
The wounded hands, the weary human face. 



70 



ROSA MYSTICA 



VITA NUOVA 

ISTOODbytheunvintageablese. 

The long red fires of the dying dav 

A^t ' !! '^ ""* ■' *»>*' ^'"d Krearilv • 

Alas I I cned. • my life is full of pain, 

irr„ " *r^° '"" «""^' fruit or golden wain 

/j'-j-te fields which* travTcLe- 

My nets gaped wide with m„ny a break and 

r^to [he '^*'''"'^''''^'°'^ •">'«"«•«'«*» 

Into the sea. and waited for the end 

From the black waters of my tortured past 
The argent splendour of white limbs «S 1 



Tl 



POEMS 



MADONNA MIA 



A 



LlIvY-GIRL, not made for this world's 



pain. 



With brown, soft hair close braided by 
her ears. 
And longing eyes half veiled by slumberous 
tears 
Like bluest water seen through mists of rain : 
Pale cheeks whereon no love hath left its stain. 
Red underlip drawn in for fear of love, 
And white throat, whiter than the silvered 
dove. 
Through whose wan marble creeps one purple 

vein, 
Yet, though my lips shall praise her without 
cease, 
Even to kiss her feet I am not bold. 
Being o'ershadowed by the wings of awe, 
Like Dante, wlieri he stood with Heatrice 
Heneath the flaming Lion's breast, and saw 
The seventh Cr>'stal, and tlie Stair of Gold. 



7t 



ROSA MYSTICA 



THE NEW HELEN 

WHERE hast thou been since round the 
walls of Troy 
The sons of God fought in that great 
emprise ? 
Why dost thou walk our common earth 
again? 
Hast thou forgotten that impassioned boy, 
His purple galley and his Tyrian men 
And treacherous Aphrodite's mocking eyes ? 
For surely it was thou, who, like a ster 
Hung in the silver silence of the night, 
Didst lure the Old World's chivalry and might 
Into the clamorous crimson waves of war 1 



Or didst thou rule the fire-laden moon ? 
In amorous Sidon was thy temple built 

Over the light and laughter of the sea ? 
Where, behind lattice scarlet-wrought and 
gilt, 
Some brown-limbed girl did weave thee 
tapestry. 
All through the waste and wearied hours of 
noon; 

78 



MCtOCOPY tlSOlUTION TiST CHAHI 

(ANSI ond ISC TEST CHART No. 2) 




A TIPPLED ItvMGE In 



'653 East Mam Street 
Roctiester. Htm lark Uf 
(7t6) 482 - 0300 - Phone 
(716) 2a8-59B9-Fo. 



POEMS 

Till her wan cheek with flame of passion 
burned, 

And she rose up the sea-washed lips to kiss 
Of some glad Cyprian sailor, safe returned 

From Calp^ and the cliffs of Herakles I 

No ! thou art Helen, and none other one 1 
It was for thee that young Sarped6n died, 
And M?mn6n's manhood was untimely 
spent ; 
It was for thee gold-crested Hector tried 
With Thetis' child that evil race to run. 

In the last year of thy beleaguerment ; 
Ay 1 even now the glory of thy fame 

Bums in those fields of trampled asphodel. 
Where the high lords whom Ilion knew so 
well 
Clash ghostly shields, and call upon thy name. 

Where hast thou been ? in that enchanted land 
W hose slumbering vales forlorn Calypso knew. 

Where never mower rose at break of day 
But all unswathed the trammelling grasses 
grew, 
And the sad shepherd saw the tail corn stand 
Till summer's red had changed to withered 
grey? 
Didst thou lie there by some L.etha;an stream 
Deep brooding on thine ancient memory, 
74 



THE NEW HELEN 

The crash of broken spears, the fiery gleam 
From shivered helm, the Grecian battle-cry ? 



the 



Nay, thou wert hidden in that hollow hill 
With one who is forgotten utterly. 
That discrowned Queen men call 
Erycine ; 

Hidden away that never mightst thou see 
The face of Her, before whose moulderine 
shrine 
To-day at Rome the silent nations kneel; 
Who gat from Love no joyous gladdening. 
But only Love's intolerable pain. 
Only a sword to pierce her heart in twain. 
Only the bitterness of child-bearing. 

The lotus-leaves which heal the wounds of 
Death 
Lie in thy hand ; O, be thou kind to me, 
While yet I know the summer of my 
days ; ' 

For hardly can my tremulous lips draw breath 
To fill the silver trumpet with thy praise, 
so bowed am I before thy mystery ; 
So bowed and broken on Love's terrible wheel 
That I have lost aU hope and heart to sing. ' 
Yet care I not what ruin time may bring 
If m thy temple thou wilt let me kneel. 

75 



ii a 



W^-" 



POEMS 

Alas, alas, thou wilt not tarry here, 

But, like that bird, the servant of the sun, 
Who flies before the north wind and the 
night. 
So wilt thou fly our evil land and drear. 
Back to the tower of thine old delight. 
And the red lips of young Euphorion; 
Nor shall I ever see thy face again. 

But in tliis poisonous garden-close must stay. 
Crowning my brows with the thorn-crown of 
pain, 
Till all my loveless, life shall pass away. 

O Helen 1 Helen 1 Helen I yet a while. 
Yet for a little while, O, tarry here. 
Till the dawn cometh and the shadows flee! 

For in the gladsome sunlight of thy smile 
Of heaven or hell I have no thought or fear. 
Seeing I know no other god but thee : 

No other god save him, before whose feet 
In nets of gold the tired planets move. 
The incarnate spirit of spiritual love 

Who in thy body holds his joyous seat 



Thou wert not born as common women are ! 
But, girt with silver splendour of the foam. 

Didst from the depths of sapphire seas arise I 
And at thy coming some immortal star, 

76 



THE NEW HELEN 

Bearded with flame, blazed in the Eastern 
skies, 
And waked the shepherds on thine island- 
home. 
Thou shalt not die : no asps of Egypt creep 
Close at thy heels to taint the delicate air ; 
No sullen-blooming poppies stain thy hair. 
Those scarlet heralds of eternal sleep. 



to 



Lily of love, pure and inviolate I 
Tower of ivory 1 red rose of fire ! 
Thou hast come down our darkness 
illume : 
For we, close-caught in the wide nets of Fate, 
Wearied with waiting for the World's Desire, 
Aimlessly wandered in the House of gloom. 
Aimlessly sought some slumberous anodyne 

For wasted lives, for lingering wretchedness. 
Till we beheld thy re-arisen shrine, 
And the white glory of thy loveliness. 



77 



THE BURDEN OF ITYS 



T 



THE BURDEN OF ITYS 

HIS English Thames is hoher far than 

Rome, 
Those liarebells like a sudden flush of 



Breaking across the woodland, with the foam 

Of meadow-sweet and white anemone 
T fleck their blue waves,— God is likelier there 
Than hidden in that crystal-hearted star the pale 
monks bear I 

Those violet-gleaming butterflies that take 

Yon creamy lily for their pavilion 
Are monsignores, and where the rushes shakt 

A lazy pike lies basking in the sun. 
His eyes half shut,— He is some mitred old 
Bishop in partibus ! look at those gaudy scales 
all green and gold. 

The wind the restless prisoner of the trees 
Does well for Paltestrina, one would sav 

The mighty master's hands were on the keys 
Of the Maria organ, which they play 

When early on some sapphire Easter morn 

In a high litter red as blood or sin the I'ope is 
borne 

' 81 



li 



POEMS 

From his dark House out to the Balcony 
Above the bronze ga'es and the crowded 
square, 
Whose very fountains seem for ecstasy 
To toss their silver lances in the air, 
And stretching out weak hands to East and 

West 
In vain sends peace to peaceless lands, to restless 
nations rest. 

Is not yon lingering orange after-glow 
Tliat stays to vex tlie moon more fair than 
all 
Rome's lordliest pageants 1 strange, a year ago 

I knelt before some crimson Cardinal 
Who bare the Host across the Esquiline, 
And now — those common poppies in the wheat 
seem twice as fine. 



I r 



The blue-green beanfields yonder, tremulous 

With the last shower, sweeter perfume bring 
Through this cool evening than the odorous 
Flame-jewelled censers the young deacons 
swing. 
When the grey priest unlocks the curtained 

slirine. 
And makes God's body from the common fruit 
of corn and vine. 
82 






THE niTRDEN OF ITVS 
Poor Fra Giovatmi hawling at the mitss 

Were out of tune now, for a small brown bird 
Sings overhead, and throuf;h the long cool grass, 
I see that tiirobbing throat which once I 
heard 
On starlit hills of flower-starred Arcady, 
Once where the white and crescent sand of 
Salumis meets sea. 

Sweet is the swallow iwittering on the eaves 
At daybreak, when the mower whets his 
scythe. 
And stock-doves murmur, and the milkmaid 
leaves 
Iier little lonely bed, and carols blithe 
To see the heavy-lowing cattle wait 
Stretching their huge and dripping mouths 
across the farmyard gate. 

And sweet the hops upon the Kentish leas. 
And sweet the wind that lifts the new-mown 
hay, 
And sweet the fretful swarms o' grumbling bees 
That round and round the lu.den blossoms 
play; 
And sweet the heifer breathing ir the stall 
And the green bursting figs that hang upoli the 
red-brick wall. 

63 




POEMS 

And sweet to hear tlie cuckoo mock the spring 
While the last violet loiters by the well. 

And siveet to hear the shepherd Daphnis sing 
The song of Linus through a sunny dell 

Of warm Arcadia where the corn is gold 

And the slight lithe-limbed reapers dance about 
the wattled fold. 

And sweet with young I^ycoris to recline 

In some Illyrian valley far away, 
Where canopied on herbs amaracine 

We too might waste the summer-trancM day 
Matching our reeds in sportive rivalry, 
While for beneath us frets the troubled purple 
of the seii. 

But sweeter far if silver-sandalled foot 

Of some long-hidden God should ever tread 
The Nuneham meadows, if with reeded flute 
Pressed to his lips some Faun might raise his 
head 
By the green water-flags, ah ! sweet indeed 
To see the heavenly herdsman call his white- 
fleeced flock to feed. 



Then sing to me thou tuneful chorister. 
Though what thou sing'st be thine 
requiem 1 
Tell me thy tale thou hapless chronicler 
84 



own 



THE BURDEN OF ITYS 

Of thine own tragedies ! do not contemn 
These unfamiliar haunts, this English field, 
For many a lovely coronal our northern isle can 
yield 

Which Grecian mendows know not, many a 
rose 
Wliich all day long in vales / >lian 
A lad might seek in vain for over-grows 

Our hedges like a wanton courtesan 
Unthrifty of its beauty, lilies too 
Ilissus never mirrored star our streams. And 
cockles blue 



Dot the green wheat which, though they are 
the signs 
For swallows going south, would never spread 
Their azure tents between the Attic vines ; 

Even that little weed of ragged red. 
Which bids the robin pipe, in Arcady 
Would be a trespasser, and many an unsung 
elegy 

Sleeps in the reeds that fringe our winding 
Thames 
Which to awake were sweeter ravishment 
Than ever Syrinx wept for, diadems 
Of brown bee-studded orchids which were 
meant 

85 



POEMS 

For Cytherwa's browi are hidden here 
Unknown to Cytheraea, and by yonder pasturing 

steer 

There is a tiny yellow daffodil. 

The butterfly can see it from afar. 
Although one summer evening's dew could 
fill 
Its little cup twice over ere the star 
Had called the lazy shepherd to his fold 
And be no prodigal, each leaf is flecked with 
spotted gold 

As if Jove's gorgeous leman Danae 

Hot from his gilded arms had stooped to 
kiss 
The trembling petals, or young Mercury 

Low-flying to the dusky ford of Dis 
Had with one feather of his pinions 
Just brushed them ! the slight stem which bears 
the burden of its suns 

Is hardly thicker than the gossamer, 

Or poor Arachne's silver tapestry, — 
Men say it bloomed upon the sepulchre 

Of One I sometime worshipped, but to me 
It seems to bring diviner memories 
Of faun-loved Heliconian glades and blue 
nymph-hauuted seas, 
86 



THE BURDEN OF ITYS 
Ofan untrodden vale at Tempe where 

On the clear river's marge Narcissus lies, 
llie tangle of the forest in his hair 

The silence of the woodland in his eyes, 
Wooing that drifting imagery which is 
No sooner kissed than broken, memories 
salmacis 



of 



Who is not boy nor giri and yet is both, 

ttd by two fires and unsatisfied 
Through their excess, each passion being loth 

For loves own sake to leave the other's side 
Yet killmg love by staying, memories 
Of Oreads peeping through the leaves of silent 
moonlit trees. 

Of lonely Ariadne on the wharf 

At Naxos, when she saw the treacherous crew 
*ar out at sea, and waved her crimson scarf 

And called false Theseus back again nor knew 
inat Uionysos on an amber pard 
Was close behind her, memories of what 
Mieonia's bard 

With sightless eyes beheld, the wall of Troy 
Queen Helen lying in the ivory room. 

And at her side an amorous red-lipped boy 
Inmmmg with dainty hand his helmet's 
plume, 

87 



POEMS 
And far away the moil, the shout, the groan. 
As Hector shielded off the spear and Ajax 
hurled the stone ; 

Of winged Perseus with his flawless sword 
Cleaving the snaky tresses of the witch. 

And all those tales imperishably stored 
In httle Grecian urns, freightage more rich 

Than any gaudy galleon of Spain 

Bare from the Indies ever 1 these at least bring 
back again. 






For well I know they are not dead at all. 

The ancient Gods of Grecian poesy. 
They are asleep, and when they hear thee call 

Will wake and think 't is very Thessaly, 
This Thames the Daulian waters, this cool 

glade 
The yellow-irised mead where once young Itys 
laughed and played. 

If it was thou dear jasmine-cradled bird 

Who from the leafy stillness of thy throne 
Sang to the wondrous boy, until he heard 

The horn of Atalanta faintly blown 
Across tlie Cumnor hills, and wandering 
Through Bagley wood at evening found the 
Attic poets' spring, — 
88 



THE BURDEN OF ITYS 

Ah I tiny sober-suited advocate 

That pleadest for the moon against the day I 
If thou didst make the shepherd seek his mate 

On that sweet questing, when Proserpina 
Forgot it was not Sicily and leant 
Across the mossy Sandford stile in ravished 
wonderment, — 

Light-winged and bright-eyed miracle of the 
wood! 
If ever thou didst soothe with melody 
One of that little clan, that brotherhood 

Which loved the morning-star of Tuscany 
More than the perfect sun of Raphael 
And is immortal, sing to me I for I too love 
thee well, 

Sing on 1 sing on ! let the dull world grow 
young, 
Let elemental things take form again, 
And the old shapes of Beauty walk among 

The simple garths and open crofts, as when 
The son of Leto bare the willow rod. 
And the soft sheep and shaggy goats followed 
the boyish God. 

Sing on 1 sing on I and Bacchus will be here 
Astride upon his gorgeous Indian throne, 

And over whimpering tigers shake the spear 
With yeUow ivy crowned and gummy cone, 

89 



POEMS 
While at his side the wanton Bassarid 
Will throw the lion by the mane and catch the 
mountain kid I 

Sing on I and I will wear the leopard skin. 
And steal the mooned wings of Ashtaroth, 

Upon whose icy chariot we could win 
Citiiffiron in an hour ere the froth 

Has over-brimmed the wine-vat or the Faun 

Ceased from tiie treading I ay, before tlie flicker- 
ing lamp of dawn 

Has scared the hooting owlet to its nest. 

And warned the bat to close its filmy vans. 
Some Mffinad girl with vine-leaves on her breast 
Will filch their beech-nuts from the sleepintr 
Pans ^ ^ 

So softly that the little nested thrush 
Will never wake, and then with shrilly laugh 
and leap will rush 

Down the green valley where the fallen dew 
Lies thick beneath the elm and count her 
store. 
Till the brown Satyrs in a jolly crew 

Trample the loosestrife down along the shore. 
And where their horned master sits in state 
Bring strawberries and bloomy plums upon a 
wicker crate ! 
90 



THE BURDEN OF ITYS 

Sing on I and soon with passion-wearied face 
Through the cool leaves Apollo's lad will 
come, 
Th-; Tyrian prince his bristled boar will chase 

Adown the cliestniit-copses all a-bloom. 
And ivory-limbed, grey-eyed, with look of pride. 
After yon velvet-coated deer tlie virgin maid 
will ride. 

Sing on I and I the dying boy will see 
Stain with his purple blood tlie waxen bell 

That overweighs the jacinth, and to me 
The wretched Cyprian her woe will tell, 

And I will kiss her mouth and streaming eyes 

And lead her to the myrtle-hidden grove where 
Adon lies 1 

Cry out aloud on Itys I memory 
That foster-brother of remorse and pain 

Drops poison in mine ear,~0 to be free. 
To burn one's old ships I and to launch again 

In ) the white-plumed battle of the waves 

And fight old Proteus for the spoil of coral- 
flowered caves I 

O for Medea with her poppied spell I 
O for the secret of the Colchian shrine! 

O for one leaf of that pale asphodel 
Which binds the tired brows of Proserpine, 

91 



II I 



POEMS 

And sheds such wondrous dews at eve that she 
Dreams of the fields of Enna, by the far Sicilian 
sea. 

Where oft the golden-girdled bee she chased 
From lily to lily on the level mead. 

Ere yet her sombre I.ord had bid her taste 
The deadly fruit of that pomegranate seed. 

Ere the black steeds had harried her away 

Down to the faint and flowerless land, the sick 
and sunless day. 

O for one midnight and as paramour 
The Venus of the little Melian farm I 

that some antique statue for one hour 
Might wake to passion, and that I could 

charm 
The Dawn at Florence from its dumb despair, 
Mix with those mighty limbs and make that 

giant breast my lairl 

Sing on I sing on 1 I would be arunk with life, 
Drunk with the trampled vintage of my 
youth, 

1 would forget the wearying wasted strife. 
The riven veil, the Gorgon eyes of Truth, 

The prayerless vigil and tlie cry for prayer, 
The barren gifts, the lifted arms, the dull in- 
sensate air I 
92 



1|: 



THE BURDEN OF ITYS 

Sing on I sing on I O feathered Niobe, 
Thou canst make sorrow beautiful, and steal 

From joy its sweetest music, not as we 

Who by .!ead voiceless silence strive to heal 

Our too untented wounds, and do but keep 

Pain barricadoed in our hearts, and murder 
pillowed sleep. 

Sing louder yet, why must I still behold 

The wan white face of that deserted Christ, 
Whose bleeding hands my hands did once 
enfold, 
Whose smitten lips my lips so oft have 
kissed, 
And now in mute and marble misery 
Sits in his lone dishonoured House and weeps, 
perchance for nie ? 

O Memory cast down thy wreathed shell I 
Break thy hoarse lute O sad Melpomene ! 

O Sorrow, Sorrow keep thy cloistered cell 
Nor dim with tears this limpid Castaly I 

Cease, Philomel, tliou dost the forest wrong 

To vex its sylvan quiet with such wild im- 
passioned song ! 

Cease, cease, or if 't is anguish to be dumb 
Take from the pastoral tlirush her simpler air. 

Whose jocund carelessness doth more become 
This English woodland than thy keen despair, 

98 



- '3 



m 



POEMS 

Ah ! cease and let the north wind bear thy lay 
Back to the rocky hills of Thrace, the stormy 
Daulian bay. 

A moment more, the startled leaves had stirred, 
Endymion would have passed across the mead 
Moonstruck with love, and this still Thames 
had heard 
Pan plash and paddle groping for some recri 
To lure from her blue cave that Naiad maid 
Who for such piping listens half in joy and half 
afraid. 

A moment trore, the waking dove had cooed. 

The silver daughter of the silver sea 
With the fond gyves of clinging hands had 
wooed 
Her r.anton from the chase, and Dryope 
Had thrust aside the branches of her oak 
To see the lusty gold-haired lad rein in his 
snorting yoke. 

A moment more, the trees had stooped to kiss 

Pale Daphne just awakening from tlie swoon 
Of tremulous laurels, lonely Salmacis 

Had bared his barren beauty to the moon. 
And through the vale with sad voluptuous smile 
Antinous had wandered, the red lotus of the 
Nile 
94 



■•i 



THE BURDEN OF ITVS 

Down leaning from his black and clustering 
hair, ° 

To shade those slumberous eyelids' cavemed 
bliss, 
Or else on yonder grassy slope with bare 

High-tuniced limbs unravislied Artemis 
Had bade her hounds give tongue, and roused 

the deer 
From his green ambuscade with shrill halloo 
an« ' pricking spear. 

Lie still, lie still, O passionate heart, lie stUl I 
O Melarcholy. fold thy raven wing! 

O sobbing Dryad, from thy hollow hill 
Coine not with sucli despondent answerinifl 

No more thou winged Mursyas complain 

Apollo loveth not to hear such troubled sonm 
of pain 1 * 

It was a dream, the glade is tenantless, 
No soft Ionian laughter moves the air. 

The Thames creeps on in sluggish leadenness 
And from the copse left desolate and bare ' 

Fled is young IJacchus with his revelry, 

Yet still from Nuneham wood there comes that 
thrilling melody 

So sad, that one might think a human heart 

Brake in each separate note, a quality 
Which music sometimes has, being the Art 

95 



>l\ 



'W 



POEMS 

Which is most nigh to tears and memory, 
Poor mourning Pliilomel, what dost thou fesrt 
Thy sister dotli not haunt these iir.lds, Pandion 
is not here, 



Here is no cruel Lord with murderous blade, 
No woven web of bloody heraldries. 

But mossy delis for roving comrades made. 
Warm valleys where the tired student lies 

With half-shut book, and miin_\ a winding walk 

Where rustic lovers stray at eve in happy simple 
talk. 



The harmless rabbit gambols with its young 

Across the trampled t- wing-path, where lute 
A troop of laughing boys in jostling throng 
Cheered with the!.- noisy cries the racing 
eight ; 
The gossamer, with ravelled silver threads. 
Works at its little loom, and from the dusky 
red-eaved sheds 



Of the lone Farm a flickering light shines out 
Where the swinked shepherd drives his bleat- 
ing flock 
Back to their wattled sheep-cotes, a fuint shout 
Comes from some Oxford boat at Saudford 
lock, 
96 



THE BURDEN OF ITYS 

And starts the moor-hen from the sedgy rill, 
And the dim lengthening shadows flit like 
swallows up the hill. 

The heron passes homeward to the mere, 
The blue mist creeps among the shivering 
trees, 
Gold worid by worid the silent stars appear. 

And hke a blossom blown before the breeze 
A white moon drifts across the sliimmering sky 
Mute arbitress of all thy sad, thy rapturous 
threnody. 



nil 

Hi 



She does not heed thee, wherefore should she 
heed, 
She knows Endymion is not far away, 
Tis I, 'tis I, whose soul is as the reed 

Which has no message of its own to play 
So pipes another's bidding, it is I, 
Drifting witii every wind on the wide sea of 
misery. 

Ahl the brown bird has ceased: one exquisite 
trill 
About the sombre woodland seems to cling 
Dying in music, else the air is still. 
So still that one might hear the bat's smaU 
wing. 

97 



POEMS 

Wander and wheel tbove the pines, or tell 
E«ch tiny dew-drop dripping from the bluebell'i 
brimming cell. 

And far away across the lengthening wold, 

Acros-^ the willowy flats and thick.ts brown 
Magdttl « tall tower tipped with tremulous 
gold 
Marks the 1-ag High Sireet of the little town. 
And warns me to return ; I must not wait. 
Hark I 'tis the curfew booming from the bell at 
Christ Church gate. 



98 



WIND FLOWERS 



i| 



IMPRESSION DU MATIN 

THE Thames nocturne of blue and .rold 
Changed to a Harmony in jrrey •" 
A barge with ochre-colourc j hay 
iJropt from the wharf: and chill and cold 

The yellow fog came creeping down 
Ihe bridges, till the houses' walls 
Seemed changed to shadows and St. Paul's 

Loomed hke a bubble o'er the town. 

Then suddenly arose the clang 

Of waking life; the streets were stirred 
With country waggons : and a bird 

a lew to the glistening roofs and sang. 

But one pale woman all alone, 
The daylight kissing her wan hair 

vJ^'\"^^^^'^'"'^^ *^« »"* J*™?"' flare. 
With hps v>f flame and heart of stone 



101 




POEMS 



i' 1 



I 
I 



MAGDALEN WALKS 

THE little white clouds are racine over 
the sky, 

And the fields are strewn with the eold 
of the flower of March , 
The daffodil breaks under foot, and the 
tasselled larch 
Sways and swings as the thrush goes hurrying by. 

A delicate odour is borne on the wings of the 
morning breeze, 
The odour of deep wet grass, and of brown 

new-furrowed earth. 
The birds are singing for joy of the Spring's 
glad birth, * 

Hopping from branch to branch on the rockinjr 
trees. * 

And all the woods are aUve with the murmur 
and sound of Spring, 
And the rose-bud breaks into pink on the 

climbing briar, 
And the crocus-bed is a quivering moon of fire 
Girdled round with the belt of an amethyst ring. 



MAGDALEN WALKS 

And the plane to the pine-tree is whispering 
some tale of love 
Till it rustles with laughter and tosses its 

mantle of green. 
And the gloom of the wych-elm's hollow is 
lit witli the iris sheen 
Of the burnished rainbow throat and the silver 
breast of a dove. 



I 



Seel the lark starts up from his bed in the 
meadow there, 

Breaking the gossamer threads and the nets 
01 dew. 

And flashing adown the river, a flame of 
blue I 

The kingfisher flies like an arrow, and wounds 
the air. 



*'«l 



And the sense of my life is sweet! though I 
know that the end is nigh : 
For the ruin and rain of winter will shortly 
come, ' 

The lily will lose its gold, and the chestnut- 
bloom 
In billows of red and white on the grass will lie. 

108 



ilj 



ly 



POEMS 

And even the light of the sun wiU fade at the 
last, 

And the leaves will fall, and the birds will 
hasten away, 

And I will be left in the snow of a flowerless 
day 

To think on the glories of Spring, and the joys 
of a youth long past. 

Yet be silent, my heart I do not count it a 
profitless thing 
To have seen the splendour of the sun, and of 

grass, and of flower ! 
To have lived and loved! for I hold that to 
love for an liour 
Is better for man and for woman than cycles of 
blossoming Spring. 



104 



WIND FLOWERS 



ATHANASIA 

TO that gaunt House of Art which lacks 
tor naught 

""Lt TLr"* '^'"'^ "'" ''"^ ^"^^'^ 

The withered body of a girl was brought 
Bead ere the world's glad youth had touched 
Its prime, 
And seen by lonely Arabs lying hid 
In the dim womb of some black pyramid. 
But when they had unloosed the linen band 
Which swathed the Egyptian's body.-lol 
was round 
Closed in the wasted hollow of her hand 

A little seed, which sown in English ground 
Did wondrous snow of starry blossoms £ar 
And spread rich odours through our spring-tide 

With such strange arts this flower did allure 

1 hat all forgotten was the asphodel, 
And the brown bee, the lily's paramour, 

Fnr „T i "^ '"^ "^^^'^ ^^ ^«^ ««nt to dwell. 
For not a thing of earth it seemed to be 

But stolen from some heavenly Arcady.' 

10« 






M 



POEMS 

In vain the sad narcissus, wan and white 
Then 7^ ^^""^y^ ''""« *«««'»' the stream 

With ,ts gold dust to make his wings a-deam 
Or iru^h H ^'^'"'^ jasmine-bloom to^liss- ' 
Or brush the ram-pearls from the eucharis. 

For love of it the passionate nightingale 
aLT '^,' .^'"^ °'" '^^""''' the cruel king 
i hrough the wet woods at time of blossomino 

W^S^ ''^'' °/^^P* sought roToaT 
With silvered wing and amethystine throat 

While the hot sun bhzed in his tower of blue 

A coohng wind crept from the land of snows. 
And the warm south with tender tears of deJ 
Drenched its white leaves when HespeTos 
up-rose 
Amid those sea-green meadows of the sky 
On which the scarlet bars of sunset he 

But when o'er wastes of lily-haunted field 

tune? *"*'^ ''"^'^ '^''' '""""'"s 

And^broad Ind glitteiing like an argent shield 



ATHANASIA 
High in the sapphire heavens hung the moon. 
Did no strange dream or evil memoir make 
Each tremulous petal of its blossoms shake ? 

Ah no! to this bright flower a thousand years 
Seemed but the lingering of a summer's day. 
^J'}""^"^ ^^^ ^^^ °<" cankering fears 
Which turn a boys gold hair to withered 

The dread desire of death it never knew. 

Or how all folk that they were bom must rue. 

For we to death with pipe and dancing go. 
Nor would we pass the ivory gate a^ain, 

As some sad nver wearied of its flow 
Through the dull plains, the haunts of 
common men. 

Leaps lover-Uke into the terrible sea I 

And counta it gain to die so gloriously. 

^^^^.u T '""^'^ **'"^"S*h '» b^ren strife 
With the worid's legions led by clamorous 
care, 

It never feels decay but gathers life 
From the pure sunlight and the supreme 

We live beneath Time's wasting sovereijmtv 
It is the child of all eternity. ^'^'^"ty, 

107 



-4 
:■!' 



ill 



if 

11 



POEMS 

The woes of man may serve an idle lay 
Nor were it hard fond hearers to enthral. 

Telling how Egypt's glory passed away. 
How I^ndon from its pinnacle must fall • 

But this white flower, the conqueror of time, 

^»eems all too great for any boyish rhyme. 



108 



WIND FLOWERS 



SERENADE 

(FOR MUSIC) 

THE western wind is blowing fair 
Across the dark ^gean sea, 

», rT^^ "* ^^^ *^*""et marble stair 

My Tyrian galley waits for thee. 
Come down I the purple sail is spread. 

1 he watchman sleeps within the town 
O leave thy lily-flowered bed, 

O Lady mine come down, come down I 

She wiU not come, I know her well. 

Of lover's vows she hath no care. 
And httle good a man can tell 

Of one so cruel and so fair. 
True love is but a woman's toy, 

'I'hey never know the lover's pain. 
And I who loved as loves a boy 

Must love in vain, must love in vain. 

O noble pilot, tell me true. 
Is that the sheen of golden hair» 

Or IS it but the tangled dew 
That binds the passion-flowers there? 

109 



I 



' :t 



! i :■ 



'i 






POEMS 

Good sailor come and tell me now 

Is that my Lady's lily haP" f 
Or is it but the glcumlnf; prow, 

Or is it but the silver sand ? 

No I no 1 'tis not the tangled dew, 

'Tis not the silver-fretted sand. 
It is my own dear Lady true 

Witli golden hair and lily hand I 
O noble pilot, steer for Troy, 

Good sailor, ply the labouring oar, 
This is the Queen of life and joy 

Whom we must bear from Grecian shore I 

The wanmg sky grows faint and blue. 

It wants an hour still of day. 
Aboard! aboard! my gallant crew, 

O Lady mine, «way ! away I 
O noble pilol,, steer for Troy, 

Good sailor, ply the labouring oar, 
O loved as only loves a boy ! 

O loved for ever evermore I 



110 



WIND FLOWERS 



ENDYMION 



(FOR MUSK) 

THE apple trees are hnnjr with gold. 
And birds are loud in Arcady, 
The sheep lie bleating in the fold. 
The wild goat runs across the wold, 
But yesterday his love he told, 

I know he will come back to me. 
O rising moon ! O Lady moon 1 
Be you my lover's sentinel, 
You cannot choose but know him well. 
For he is shod with purple shoon. 
You cannot choose but know my love. 
For he a shepherd's crook doth bear, 
And he is soft as any dove. 

And brown and curly is his hair. 

The turtle now has ceased to call 
Upon her crimson-footed groom. 

The grey wolf prowls about the stall. 

The lily's singing seneschal 

Sleeps in the lily-bell, and all 
The violet hills are lost in gloom. 

Ill 



A' 

■'V 



il 



POEMS 

O risen moon 1 O holy moon I 

Stmnd on the top of Helice, 

And if my own true love you lee. 
Ah I if you see the purple shoon, 
The hazel crook, the lad's brown hair, 

The gottt-skin wrapped about his arm. 
Tell him that I am waiting where 

The rusiilight glimmers in the Farm. 

The falling dew is cold and chill. 

And no bird sings in Arcady, 
The little fauns have left the hill. 
Even the tired Jaffodil 
Has closed its gildrd doors, and still 

My lover comes not back to me. 
False moon ! False moon 1 O waning moon ! 

Where is my own true lover gone. 

Where are the lips vermilion. 
The shepherd's crook, the purple shoon ? 
Why spread that silver pavilion. 

Why wear that veil of drifting mist ? 
Ah I thou hast young Endymiun, 

Thou hast tlie lips that should be kissed 1 



118 



WIND FLOWERS 



LA BELLA DONNA DELLA MIA 
MENTE 

MY limbs are wasted with a flame. 
My feet are sore with travelling. 
For, calling on my Lady's name. 
My lips have now forgot to sing. 

O Linnet in the wild-rose brake 
Strain for my Love thy melody, 

O Lark sing louder for love's sake. 
My gentle Lady passeth by. 

O almond-blossoms bend adown 
Until ye reach her drooping head ; 

O twining brunches weave a crown 
Of apple-blossoms white and red. 

She is too fair for any man 

To see or hold his heart's delight. 

Fairer than Queen or courtesan 
Or moon-lit water in the night 

Her nair is bound with myrtle leaves, 
(Green leaves upon her golden hair I) 

Green grasses through the yellow sheaves 
Of autumn corn are not more fair. 

« 118 



h 



M 



k 

it. 



I 



li 



If 



POEMS 

Her little lips, more made to kiss 

Than to cry bitterly for pain, 
Are tremulous as brook-water is. 

Or roses after evening rain. 

Her neck is like white melilote 
Flushing for pleasure of the sun. 

The throbbing of the linnet's throat 
Is not so sweet to look upon. 

As a pomegranate, cut in twain, 

White-sf^ded, is her crimson mouth. 

Her cheeks, are as the fading stain 

Where the peach reddens to the south. 

O twining hands ! O delicate 

White body made for love and pain 1 

O House of love I O desolate 
Pale flower beaten by the rain 1 

God can bring Winter unto May, 

And change the sky to flame and blue. 

Or summer corn to gold from grey : 
One thing alone He cannot do. 

He cannot change my love to hate. 
Or make thy face less fair to see. 

Though now He knocketh at the gate 
With life and death— for you and me. 
114 



WIND FLOWERS 



CHANSON 



A RING of gold and a milk-white dove 
Are goodly gifts for thee, 
And a hempen rope for your own love 
To hang upon a tree. 

For you a House of Ivory, 

(Roses are white in the rose-bower) ! 
A narrow bed for me to lie, 

(White, O white, is the hemlock flower) I 

Myrtle and jessamine for you, 

(O the red rose is fair to see) I 
For me the cypress and the rue, 

(Fairest of all is rosemary) ! 

For you three lovers of your hand, 
(Green grass where a man lies dead) I 

For me three paces on the sand, 
(Plant lilies at my head) I 



■■li 



115 



CHARMIDES 



il'l 

W li 



CHARMIDES 



HE was a Grecian lad, who coming home 
With pulpy figs and wine from Sicily 
Stood at his galley's prow, and let t'le 
foam 
Blow through his crisp brown curls uncon- 
sciously, 
And holding wave and wind in boy's despite 
Peered from his dripping seat across the wet 
and stormy night 

Till with the dawn he saw a burnished spear 
Like a thin thread of gold against the sky. 

And hoisted sr.il, and strained the creaking gear. 
And bade the pilot head her lustily 

Against the nor'west gale, and all day long 

Held on his way, and marked the rowers' time 
with measured song, 

And when the faint Corinthian hills were red 

Dropped anchor in a little sandy bay, 
And witli fresh boughs of olive crowned his 
head, 

119 



m 



POEMS 

And brushed from cheek and throat the 

hoary spray, 
And washed his limbs with oil, and from the 

hold 
Brought out his linen tunic and his sandals 

brazen-soled. 

And a rich robe stained with t'le fishes' juice 
Which of some swarthy trader he had bought 

Upon the sunny quay at Syracuse, 

And was with Tyrian broideries inwrought. 

And by the questioning merchants made his way 

Up through the soft and silver woods, and when 
the labouring day 

Had spun its tangled web of crimson cloud, 

Clomb the higli bill, and with swift silent feet 
Crept to the fane unnoticed by the crowd 

Of busy priests, and from some dark retreat 
Watched the young swains his frolic playmates 

bring 
The firstling of their little flock, and the shy 
shepherd fling 

The crackling salt upon the flame, or hang 

His studded crook against the temple wall 
To Her who keeps away the ravenous fang 
Of the base wolf from homestead and from 
stall; 
120 



CHARM IDES 

a!!h J''^" *''^/>"r-voiced maidens 'gan to sing, 
offerin "■"" ^™"«''* "'""'' ^^'^ 

A beechen cup brimming with milky foam. 

A fair cloth wrought witii cunning imagery 
Ofhounds m chase, a waxen honey-comb 
Urippmg with oozy gold which scarce the 
bee 
Had ceased from building, a black skin of oil 
Meetfor the wrestlers, a great boar the fierce 
and white-tusked spoil 

Stolen from Artemis that jealous maid 

lo please Athena, and the dappled hide 
Ut a tall stag who in some mountain .'lade 
Had met the shaft; and then the herald 
cried. 
And from the pillared precinct one by one 
Went the glad Greeks weU pleased that they 
their simple vows had done. 

And the old priest put out the waning fires 

have that one lamp whose restless ruby glowed 
For ever in the cell, and the shrill lyres 

Came fainter on the wind, as down the road 
In joyous dance these country folk did pass 
And with stout i.ands the warder closed' the 
gates of polished brass. 

121 



M 

I I 



POEMS 

Long time he ]ay and hardly dared to breathe. 

And heard the cadenced drip of spilt-out wine. 
And the rose- petals falling from the wreath 
As the night breezes wandered through the 
shrine, 
And seemed to be in some entranced swoon 
Till through the open roof above the full and 
brimming moon 

Flooded with sheeny waves the marble floor, 
When from his nook up leapt the venturous 
lad, 
And flinging wide the cedar-earven door 

Belield an awful image saffron-clad 
And armed for battle ! the gaunt Griffin glared 
From the huge helm, and the long lance of 
wreck and ruin flared 

Like a red rod of flame, stony and steeled 

The Gorgon's head its leaden eyeballs rolled. 
And writhed its snaky horrors through the 
shield. 
And gaped aghast with bloodless lips and cold 
In passion impotent, while with blind gaze 
The blinking owl between the feet hooted in 
shrill amaze. 

The lonely fisher as he trimmed his lamp 

Far out at sea off Sunium, or cast 
The net for tunnies, heard a brazen tramp 
12'i 



CHARMIDES 

C f horses smite the waves, and a wild blast 
Divide the folded curtains of the night, 
And knelt upon the little poop, and prayed in 
holy fright. 

And guilty lovers in their venery 

Forgat a little while their stolen sweets, 

Deeming they heard dread Dian's bitter cry ; 
And the grim watchmen on their lofty seats 

Ran to their shields in haste precipitate, 

Or strained black-bearded throats across the 
dusky parapet 



For round the temple rolled the clang of arms. 
And the twelve Gods leapt up in marble 
fear. 
And the air quaked with dissonant alarums 

Till huge Poseidon shook his mighty spear, 
And on the frieze the prancing horses neighed. 
And the low tread of hurr -ing feet rang from 
the cavalcade. 

Ready for death with parted lips he stood. 
And well content at such a price to see 
That calm wide brow, that terrible maidenhood. 

The marvel of that pitiless chastity. 
Ah I well content indeed, for never wight 
Since Troy's 3^oung shepherd prince had seen so 
wonderful a sijrht. 

128 



r <", 



t| 



POEMS 

Ready for death he stood, but lo 1 the air 
Grew silent, and the horses ceased to neigh, 

And off his brow he tossed the clustering hair, 
And from his limbs he threw the cloak away. 

For whom would not such love make desperate. 

And nigher came, and touched her throat, and 
with hands violate 



Undid the cuirass, and the crocus gown, 
And bared the breasts of polished ivory, 

Till from the waist the peplos falling down 
Left visible the secret mystery 

Which to no lover will Athena show. 

The grand cool flanks, t'l- crescent thighs, the 
bossy hills of snow. 

Those who have never known a lover's sin 
Let them not read my ditty, it will be 
To their dull ears so musicless and thin 

That they will have no joy of it, but ye 
To whose wan cheeks now creeps the lingering 

smile, 
Ye who have learned who Eros is, — O listen 
yet awhile. 

A little space he let his greedy eyes 

Rest on the burnished image, till mere sight 

Half swooned for surfeit of such luxuries. 
And then his lips in hungering delight 
124 



CHARMIDES 

Fed on her lips, and round the towered neck 
He flung his arms, nor cared at aU his passion's 
will to check. 

Never I ween did lover hold such tryst, 
For all night long he murmured honeyed 
word, ' 

And saw her sweet unravished limbs, and kissed 

Her pale and argent body undisturbed. 
And paddled with the polished throat, and 

pressed 
His hot and beating heart upon her chill and 
icy breast. 

It was as if Numidian javelins 
Pierced through and through his wild and 
whirhng brain. 
And his nerves thriUed like throbbing violins 

In exquisite pulsation, and the pain 
Was such sweet anguish that he never drew 
His lips from hers till overhead the lark of 
warning flew. 

They who have never seen the daylight peer 

And wi?h 7^r"^ '"T- '^^ '^'■'»™ thecurtain. 
And with dull eyes and wearied from some dea^ 

And worshipped body risen, they for certain 
Will never know of what I try to sinir. 
How long the last kiss was, how fond and late 
his lingering. 

195 



4 



!; 



POEMS 

The moon was girdled with • crystal rim, 
The sign which !«hipmen say is ominous 

Of wrath in heaven, the wan stars were dim, 
And the low lightening east was tremulous 

With the faint fluttering wings of flying dawn. 

Ere from the silent sombre shrine this lover had 
withdrawn. 

Down the steep rock with hurried feet and fast 
Clomb the brave lad, and reached the cave of 
Pan. 
And heard the goat- foot snoring as he passed, 

And leapt upon a jfrassy knoll and ran 
Like a young fawn unto an olive wood 
Which in a shady valley by the well-built city 
stood. 



And sought a little stream, which well he knew. 
For oftentimes with boyish careless shout 

The green and crested grebe he would pursue. 
Or snare in woven net the silver trout. 

And down amid the startled reeds he lay 

Panting in breathless sweet affright, and waited 
for the day. 

On the green bank he lay, and let one hand 
Dip in the co il dark eddies listlessly. 

And soon the breath of morning came and fanned 
His hot flushed cheeks, or lifted wantonly 
126 



CHAKMIDES 

He"o?fh? '"'•' '""" ""^^'^ ''"'-'•ead. while 

"^tSlTi" '"'"P''"'^ •" -"^»> -«oIlen cloak 
And when the liKht-foot mower went afield 



Nor deemed h.m born of mortals an^ « 

Who witi, „ V . • ^ ^"'"^ '■unaway 
Wfto witli a Naiad now would make hi/h.A 
Forgetting Herakles' but othei -N " ' 
It IS Narcissus, his own paramour, ^• 

'''^'':Lrur?'^-'^~"''P-'owoman 

187 



■I: 



I 



POEMS 

And when they nearer came a third one cried, 
' It is young Dionysos who has hid 

His spear and fawnskin by the river side 
Weary of hunting with the Bassarid. 

And wise indeed were we away to fly 

They live not long who on the gods immortal 
come to spy.' 

So turned they back, and feared to look behind, 
And told the timid swain how they had seen 

Amid the reeds some woodland God reclined. 
And no man dared to cross the open green. 

And on that day no olive-tree was slain. 

Nor rushes cut, but all deserted was the fair 
domain. 

Save when the neat-herd's lad, his empty pail 
Well slung upon his back, with leap and 
bound 
Raced on the other side, and stopped to hail. 

Hoping that he some comrade new had found. 
And gat no answer, and then half afraid 
Passed on his simple way, or down the still and 
silent glade 

A little girl ran laughing from the farm, 
Not thinking of love's secret mysteries. 

And when she saw the white and gleaming arm 
And all his manlihood, with longing eyes 
128 



CHARMIDES 

Whose passion mocked her sweet virginity 
Watched him awhile, and then stole back 
sadly "• 1 wearily. 

Far off he heard the city's hum and noise. 
And now and then the shriller laughter where 

The passionate purity of brown-limbed boys 
Wrestled or raced in the clear healthful air. 

And now and then a little tinkling bell 

As the shorn wether led the sheep down to the 
mossy well. 

Through the grey willows danced the fretful 
gnat. 
The grasshopper chirped idly from the tree. 
In sleek and oily coat the water-rat 

Breasting the little ripples manfully 
Made for the wild-duck's nest, from bough to 

bough 
Hopped the shy finch, and the huge tortoise 
crept across the slough. 



On the faint wind floated the silky seeds 

As the bright scythe swept through the 
waving grass. 
The ousel-cock splashed circles in the reeds 
And flecked with silver whorls the forest's 
glass, 

' 129 



POEMS 

Which scarce had caught agaiu its imagery 
Ere from its bed the dusky tench leapt at the 
dragon-fly. 

But little care had he for any thing 
Though up and down the beech the squirrel 
played. 
And from the copse the linnet 'gan to sing 

To her brown mate her sweetest serenade; 
Ah ! little care indeed, for he had seen 
The breasts of Pallas and the naked wonder of 
the Queen. 

But when the herdsman called his straggling 
goats 
With whistling pipe across the rocky road. 
And the shard-beetle with its trumpet-notes 
Boomed through the darkening woods, and 
seemed to bode 
Of coming storm, and the belated crane 
Passed homeward like a shadow, and the dull 
big drops of rain 

Fell on the pattering fig-leaves, up he rose. 

And from the gloomy forest went his way 
Past sombre homestead and wet orchard-close. 

And came at last unto a little quay. 
And called his mates aboard, and took his seat 
On the high poop, and pushed from land, and 
loosed the dripping sheet, 
180 



CHARMIDES 

And steered across the bay, and when nine suns 
Passed down the long and laddered way of 
gold, 
And nine pale moons had breathed their orisons 

To the chaste stars their confessors, or told 
Their dearest secret to the downy moth 
That will not fly at noonday, through the foam 
and surging froth 

Came a great owl with yellow sulphurous eyes 
And lit upon the ship, whose timbers creaked 
As though the lading of three argosies 
Were in the hold, and flapped its wings and 
shrieked. 
And darkness straightway stole across the deep. 
Sheathed was Orion's sword, dread Mars him- 
self fled down the steep. 

And the moon hid behind a tawny mask 
Of drifting cloud, and from the ocean's maige 

Rose the red plume, the huge and horned casque. 
The seven-cubit spear, the brazen targe ! 

And clad in bright and burnislied panoply 

Athena strode across the stretch of sick and 
shivering sea 1 

To the dull sailors' sight her loosened locks 

Seemed like the jagged storm-rack, and her feet 
Only the spume that floats on hidden rocks, 

181 ' 



POEMS 

And, marking how the rising waters beat 
Against the rolling ship, the pilot cried 
To the young helmsman at the stern to luflF to 
windward side. 



But he, the overbold rdulterer, 
A dear profaner of great mysteries. 

An ardent amorous idolater, 
When he beheld those grand relentless eyes 

Laughed loud for joy, and crying out ' I come ' 

Leapt from the lofty poop into the chill and 
chumir^ foam. 



Then fell from the high heaven one bright star. 
One dancer left the circling galaxy. 

And back to Athens on her clattering car 
In all the pride of venged divinity 

Pale Pallas swept with shrill and steely clank, 

And a few gurgling bubbles rose where her boy 
lover sank. 

And the mast shuddered as the gaunt owl flew 
With mocking hoots after the wrathful Queen, 
And the old pilot bade the trembling crew 

Hoist the big sail, and told how he had seen 
Close to the stem a dim and giant form, 
And like a dipping swallow the stout ship 
dashed through the storm. 
132 



CHARM IDES 

And no man dared to speak of Charmides 

Deeming that he some evil thing had wrought, 
And when they reached the strait Symplegades 
They beached their galley on che shore, and 
sought 
The toll-gate of the city hastily. 
And in the market showed their brown and 
pictured pottery. 



188 



POEMS 



II 

BUT some good Triton-god had ruth, and 
bare 

The boy's drowned body back to Grecian 
land, 

And mermaids combed his dank and dripping 

hair 
And smoothed his brow, and loosed his 

clenching hand. 
Some brought sweet spices from far Araby, 
And others bade the halcyon sing her softest 

lullaby. 

And when he neared his old Athenian home, 
A mighty billow rose up suddenly 

Upon whose oily back the clotted foam 
Lay diapered in some strange fantasy. 

And clasping him unto its glassy breast 

Swept landward, like a white-maned steed upon 
a venturous quest 1 



Now where Colonos leans unto the sea 

There lies a long and level stretch of lawn. 
The rabbit knows it, and the mountain bee 
134 



CHARM IDES 

For it deserts Hymettus, and the Faun 
is not afraid, for never through the day 
Comes a cry ruder than the shout of shepherd 
lads at play. ^ 

But often from the thorny labyrinth 

Th^"? V^ '"""•=''^* °^^^^ "^«=ling wood 
The stealthy hunter sees young Hyacinth 

Hurhng the polished disk, and draws his hood 
Over his guilty gaze, and creeps away, 
Nor dares to wind his horn, or-else at the first 
break of day 

The Dryads come and throw the leathern ball 
Along the reedy shore, and circumvent 

Some goat-eared Pan to be their seneschal 
For fear of bold Poseidon's ravishment, 

And loose their girdles, with shy timorous eyes. 

Lest from the surf his a2ure arms and purpTe 
beard should rise. 

On this side and on that a rocky cave, 

Hung with the yellow-belled laburnum, stands 

Smooth IS tlie beach, save where some eS 

wave ^ 

Leaves its faint outline etched upon the sands, 

As though It feared to be too soon forgot 

% the green rush, its playfellow.-and yet. it 

is a spot '' 

185 



POEMS 

So small, that the inconstant butterfly 
Could steal the hoarded honey from each 
flower 
Ere it was noon, and still not satisfy 

Its over-greedy love, — within an hour 
A sailor boy, were he but rude enow 
To land and pluck a garland for his galley's 
painted prow. 

Would almost leave the little meadow bare, 
For it knows nothing of great pageantry. 

Only a few narcissi here and there 
Stand separate in sweet austerity. 

Dotting the un-mown grass with silver stars. 

And here and there a daffodil waves tiny 
scimitars. 

Hither the billow brought him, and was glad 
Of such dear servitude, and where the land 

Was virgin of all wattrs laid the lad 
Upon the golden margent of the strand. 

And like a lingering lover oft returned 

To kiss those pallid limbs which once with 
intense fire burned. 



Ere the wet seas had quenched that holocaust. 
That self-fed flame, tliat passionate lustihead. 
Ere grisly death with chill and nipping iirost 
136 



CHARMIDES 

Had withered up those lilies white and red 
Which, while the boy would through the forest 

range, 
Answered each other in a sweet antiphonal 
counter-change. 

And when at dawn the wood-nymphs, hand-in- 
hand. 
Threaded the bosky dell, their satyr spied 
The boy's pale body stretched upon the sand. 
And feared Poseidon's treachery, and cried. 
And like bright sunbeams flitting through a 

glade 
Each startled Dryad sought some safe and leafy 
ambuscade. 

Save one white girl, who deemed it would not be 
So dread a thing to feel a sea-god's arms 

Crushing her breasts in amorous tyranny. 
And longed to listen to those subtle charms 

Insidious lovers weave when they would win 

Some fenced fortress, and stole back again, nor 
thought it sin 

To yield her treasure unto one so fair. 

And lay beside him, thirsty with love's drouth. 
Called him soft names, played with his tangled 
hair, 
And with hot lips made havoc of his mouth 

137 



POEMS 

AfWkid he might not wake, and then afraid 
Lest he might wake too soon, fled back, and 
then, fond renegade. 

Returned to fresh assault, and all dajr long 
Sat at his side, and laughed at her new toy. 

And held his hand, and sanj? her sweetest song. 
Then frowned to see how froward was the boy 

Who would not with her maidenhood entwine. 

Nor knew that three days since his eyes hMl 
looked on Proserpine, 

Nor knew what sacrilege his lips had done. 
But said, ' He will awake, I know him well. 

He will awake at evening when the sun 
Hangs his red shield on Corinth's citadel. 

This sleep is but a cruel treachery 

To make me love him more, and in some cavern 
of the sea 

Deeper than ever falls the fisher's line 
Already a huge Triton blows his horn. 

And weaves a garland from the crystalline 
And drifting ocean-tendrils to adorn 

The emerald pillars of our bridal bed, 

For sphered in foaming silver, and with coral- 
crownM head. 

We two will sit upon a throne of pearl. 
And a blue wave will be our canopy, 
138 



CHARMIDES 

And at our feet the water-snakes will curl 

In all their amethystine panoply 
Of diamonded mail, and we will mark 
The mullets swimming by the mast of some 
storm-foundered bark. 

Vermilion-finned with eyes of bossy gold 

Likeflakes of crimson light, and the great deep 

His glassy-portaled chamber will unfold. 
And we will see the painted dolphins sleep 

Cradled by murmuring halcyons on the rocks 

Where Proteus in quaint suit of green pastures 
his monstrous flocks. 

And tremulous opal-hued anemones 

Will wave their purple fringes where we tread 

Upon the mirrored floor, and argosies 
Of fishes flecked with tawny scales will thread 

The drifting cordage of the shattered wreck. 

And honey-coloured amber beads our twining 
limbs will deck.' 

But when that bafiled Lord of War the Sun 

With gaudy pennon flying passed away 
Into his brazen House, and one by one 
The little yellow stars began to stray 
Across the field of heaven, ah ! then indeed 
She feared his lips upon her lips would never 
care to feed, 

189 



POEMS 

And cried, ' Awake, already the pale moon 
Washes the trees with silver, and the wave 

Creeps grey and chilly up this sandy dune. 
The croaking frogs are out, and from the cave 

The night-jar shrieks, the fluttering bats repass. 

And the brown stoat with hollow flank:, creeps 
through the dusky gra8<i. 

Nay, though thou art a God, be not so coy, 
For in yon stream there is a little reed 

That often wH'spers how a lovely boy 
Lay with her once upon a grassy mead, 

WI;T wh- li his cruel pleasure he had done 

Spre^J wings of rustling gold and soared aloft 
into the sun. 

Be not so coy, the laurel trembles still 
With great Apollo's kisses, and the fir 

Whose clustering listers fringe the seaward hiU 
Hath many a tale of tliat bold ravishcr 

Whom men call Boreas, and I have seen 

The mocking eyes of Hermes through the 
poplar's silvery sheen. 



Even the jealous Naiads call me fair, 

And every mom a young and ruddy swain 

Woos me with apples and with locks of hair. 
And seeks to soothe my virginal disdain 
140 



CHARMIDES 

By all the gift* the gentle wood-nymphs loTe; 
But yesterday he brought to me an iris-pluroaged 
dove 

With little crimson feet, which with its store 
Of seven spotted eggs the cruel lad 

Had stolen from the loily sycamore 
At daybreak, when her amorous comrade had 

Flown oif in search of berried juniper 

Which most they love; the fretful wasp, that 
earliest vintager 

Of the blue grapes, hath not persistency 
So constant as this simple shepherd-boy 

For my poor lips, his joyous purity 
And laughing sunny eyes might well decoy 

A Oryad from her oath to Artemis ; 

For very beautiful is he, his mouth was made 
to kiss. 



His argent forehead, like a rising moon 

Over the dusky hills of meeting brows. 
Is crescent shaped, the hot and Tynan noon 
Leads from the myrtle-grove no goodlier 
spouse 
For Cytheraea, the first silky down 
Fringes his blushing cheeks, and his young 
limbs are strong and brown : 

141 



POEMS 

And he is rich, and fat and fleecy herds 
Of bleating sheep upon his meadows lie. 

And many an earthen bowl of yellow curds 
Is in his homestead for the thievish fly 

To swim and drown in, the pink clover mead 

Keeps its sweet store for him, and he can pipe 
on oaten reed. 

And yet I love him not, it was for thee 

I kept my love, I knew that thou would'st 
come 
To rid me of this pallid chastity ; 

Thou fairest flower of the flowerless foam 
Of all the wide ^gean, brightest star 
Of ocean's azure heavens where the mirrored 
planets are 1 

I knew that thou wouH'st come, for when at first 
The dry wood burgeoned, and the sap of 
Spring 
Swelled in my green and tender bark or burst 

To myriad multitudinous blossoming 
Which mocked the midnight with its mimic 

moons 
That did not dread the dawn, and first the 
thrushes' rapturous tunes 

SUrtled the squirrel from its granary, 

And cuckoo flowers fringed the narrow lane, 
Through my young leaves a sensuous ecstasy 
142 



CHARMIDES 

Crept like new wine, and every mossy vein 
Throbbed with the fitful pulse of amorous blood. 
And the wild winds of passion shook my slim 
stem's maidenhood. 

Tlie trooping fawns at evening came and laid 
Their cool black noses on my lowest boughs. 

And on my topmost branch the blackbird made 
A little nest of grasses for his spouse, 

And now and then a twittering wren would light 

On a thin twig which hardly bare the weight of 
such delight 

I was the Attic shepherd's trysting place. 

Beneath my shadow Amaryl'is lay, 
And round my trunk would laughing Daphnis 
chase 
The timorous girl, till tired out with play 
She felt his hot breath stir her tangled hair. 
And turned, and looked, and fled no mote from 
such delightful snare. 

Then come away unto my ambuscade 

Where clustering woodbine weaves a canopy 
For amorous pleasaunce, and the rustling shade 

Of Paphian myrtles seems to sanctify 
The dearest rites of love, there in the cool 
And green recesses of its &rthest depth there is 
a pool, 

148 



POEMS 

The ouzel's haunt, the wild bee's pasturage. 
For round its rim great creamy lilies float 

Through their flat leaves in verdant anchorage. 
Each cup a white-sailed golden-laden boat 

Steered by a dragon-fly, — be not afraid 

To leave this wan and wave-kissed shore, surely 
the place was made 



For lovers such as we ; the Cyprian Queen, 
One arm around her boyish paramour, 

Strays often there at eve, and I have seen 
The moon strip off her misty vestiture 

For young Endymion's eyes ; be not afraid. 

The panther feet of Dian never tre'id that secret 
glade. 

Nay if thou will'st, back to the beating brine, 
Back to the boisterous billow let us go. 

And walk all day beneath the hyaline 
Huge vault of Neptune's watery portico. 

And watch the purple monsters of the deep 

Sport in ungainly play, and from his lair keen 
Xiphias leap. 

For if my mistress find me lying here 
She will not ruth or gentle pity show. 

But lay her boar-spear down, and with austere 
Relentless fingers string the cornel bow, 
144 



CHARMIDES 

And draw the feathered notch against her breast. 
And loose the archdd cord, ay, even now upon 
the quest 

I hear her hurrying feet,— awake, awake, 
Thou laggard in love's battle 1 once at least 

Let me drink deep of passion's wine, and slake 
My parchM being with the nectarous feast 

Which even Gods affect ! O come. Love, come. 

Still we have time to reach the cavern of thine 
azure home.' 

Scarce had she spoken when the shuddering 

trees 
Shook, and the leaves divided, and the air 
Grew conscious of a God. and the grey seas 
Crawled backward, and a long and dismal 

blare 
Blew from some tasselled horn, a sleuth-hound 

bayed. 
And like a flame a barbed reed flew whizzing 

down the glade. 

And where the little flowers of her breast 
^ Just brake into their milky blossoming. 
This murderous paramour, this unbidden guest. 
Pierced and struck deep in horrid chambering, 
And ploughed a bloody furrow with its dart, 
And dug a long red road, and cleft with wingW 
death her heart 

' U5 



POEMS 

Sobbing her life out with a bitter cry 
On the boy's body fell the Dryad maid, 

Sobbing for incomplete virginity, 

And raptures unenjoyed, and pleasures dead. 

And all the pain of things unsatisfied. 

And the bright drops of crimson youth crept 
down her throbbing side. 

Ah I pitiful it was to hear her moan. 

And very pitiful to see her die 
Ere she had yielded up her sweets, or known 

The joy of passion, that dread mystery 
Which not to know is not to live at all. 
And yet to know is to be held in death's most 
deadly thrall. 

But as it hapt the Queen of Cythere, 
Who with Adonis all Tiight long had lain 

Within some shepherd's hut in Arcady, 
On team of silver doves and gilded wain 

Was journeying Paphos-ward, high up afar 

From mortal ken between the mountains and 
the morning star. 



And when low down she spied the hapless pair. 
And lieard the O- .~ad's faint despairing cry. 

Whose cadence seemed to play upon the air 
As though it were a viol, hastily 
146 



CHARMIDES 

She bade her pigeons fold each straining plume 
And dropt to earth, and reached the strand, an<l 
saw their dolorous doom. 

For as a gardener turning back his head 

To catch the last notes of the linnet, mows 
With careless scyt:.e too near some flower 
bed, 
And cuts the thorny pillar of the rose. 
And with the flower's loosened loveliness 
Strews the brown mould, or as some shepherd 
lad in wantonness 



by 



Driving his little flock along the mead 
Treads down two daffodils which side 
side 
Have lured the lady-bird with yellow brede 

And made the gaudy moth forget its pride 
Treads down their brimming golden chalices ' 
Under light feet which were not made for such 
rude ravages. 

Or as a schoolboy tired of his book 
Flings himself down upon the reedy grass 

And plucks two water-lilies from the brook. 
And for a time forgets the hour glass 

Then wearies of their sweets, and goes his way 

And lets the hot sun kill them, even so these 
lovers lay. 

147 



POEMS 

And Venus cried, ' It is dread Artemis 

Whose bitter hand hath wrought this cruelty, 

Or else that mightier maid whose care it is 
To guard her strong and stainless majesty 

Upon the hill Athenian, — alas ! 

That they who loved so well unloved into 
death's house should pass. 

So with soft hands she laid the boy and girl 
In the great golden waggon tenderly. 

Her white throat whiter than a moony pearl 
Just threaded with a blue vein's tapestry 

Had not yet ceased to throb, and still her breast 

Swayed like a wind-stirred lily in ambiguous 
unrest 



And then each pigeon spread its milky van. 
The bright car soared into the dawning sky. 

And like a cloud the aerial caravan 
Passed over the ^Egean silently, 

Till the faint air was troubled with the song 

From the wan mouths that call on bleeding 
Thammuz all night long. 

But when the doves had reached their wonted 
goal 
Where the wide stair of orb^d marble dips 
Its snows into the sea, her fluttering soul 
Just shook the trembling petals of her lips 
148 



CHARMIDES 

And passed into the void, and Venus knew 
That one fair maid the less would walk amid 
her retinue. 

And bade her servants carve a cedar chest 

With all the wonder of this history, 
Within whose scented womb their limbs should 
rest 
Where olive-trees make tender the blue sky 
On the low hills of Paphos, and the faun 
Pipes in the noonday, and the nightingale sings 
on till dawn. 

Nor failed they to obey her hest, and ere 
The morning bee had stung the daffodil 

With tiny fretful spear, or from its lair 
The waking stag liad leapt across the rill 

And roused the ouzel, or the lizard crept 

Athwart the sunny rock, beneath the grass their 
bodies slept. 

And when day brake, within that silver shrine 
Fed by the flames of cressets tremulous. 

Queen Venus knelt and prayed to Proserpine 
That she whose beauty made Death amorous 

Should beg a guerdon from her pallid Lord, 

And let Desire pass across dread Charon's icy 
ford. 



149 



POEMS 



in 



IN meUncholy moonless Acheron, 
Far from tiie goodly earth and joyous day, 
Where no spring ever buds, nor ripening 
sun 
Weighs down the apple trees, nor flowery 
May 
Chequers with chestnut blooms the grassy floor. 
Where thrushes never sing, and piping linnets 
mate no more. 

There by a dim and dark Lethsan well 
Young Charmides was lying, wearily 

He plucked the blossoms from the asphodel. 
And with its little rifled treasury 

Strewed the dull waters of the dusky stream, 

And watched the white stars founder, and the 
land was like a dream. 

When as he gazed into the watery glass 
And through his brown hair's curly tangles 
scanned 
His own wan face, a shad ^w seemed to pass 
Across the mirror, and a little hand 
150 



i. 



CHARMIDES 

Stole into his, and warm lips timidly 
Brushed his pale cheeks, and breathed their 
secret forth into a sigh. 

Then turned he round his weary eyes and saw. 
And ever nigher still their faces came. 

And niglier ever did their young mouths draw 
Until they seemed one perfect rose of flame. 

And longing arms around her neck he cast. 

And felt her throbbing bosom, and hb breath 
came hot and fast. 

And all his hoarded sweets were hers to kiss. 

And all her maidenhood was his to slay. 
And limb to limb in long and rapturous bliss 
Their passion waxed and waned, — O why 
essay 
To pipe again of love, too venturous reed ! 
Enough, enough that Erds laughed upon that 
flowerless mead. 



Too venturous poesy, O why essay 

To pipe again of passion ! fold thy wings 
O'er daring Icarus and bid thy lay 

Sleep hidden in the lyre's silent strings 
Till thou hast found the old Castalian rill. 
Or from the Lesbian waters plucked drowned 
Sappho's golden quill 1 

151 



POEMS 

Enough, enough that he whose life had been 

A fiery pulse of !>in, a splendid shame. 
Could in the loveless land of Hades glean 
One scorching harvest from those fields of 
flame 
Where passion walks with naked unshod feet 
And is not wounded, — ah I enou^ that once 
their lips could meet 

In that wild throb when all existences 

Seemed narrowed to one single ecstasy 
Which dies through its own sweetness and the 
stress 
Of too much pleasure, ere Persephone 
Had bade them serve her by the ebon throne 
Of the pale God who in the fields of Enna 
loosed her zone. 



1S2 



FLOWERS OF GOLD 



(1 



IMPRESSIONS 



LES SILHOUETTES 

THE tea is flecked with Hurs o^^-y, 
The dull dead wind is out of tune. 
And like a withered ieaf iJie ;Qoon 
Is blown across the stormy bay. 

Etched clear upon the pallid sand 
Lies the black boat : a sailor boy 
Clambers aboard in careless joy 
With laughing face and gleaming hand. 

And overhead the curlews cry. 
Where through the dusky upland grass 
The young brown-throated reapers pass. 
Like silhouettes against the sky. 



.f. 






155 



POEMS 



. . .13 i 
I'll! 



LA FUITE DE LA LUNE 

TO outer senses there is peace, 
A dreamy peace on either hand, 
Deep silence in the shadowy land, 
Deep silence where the shadows cease. 

Save for a cry that echoes shrill 
From some lone bird disconsolate ; 
A corncrake calling to its mate ; 
The answer from the misty hill. 

And suddenly the moon withdraws 
Her sickle from the lightening skies, 
And to her sombre cavern flies. 
Wrapped in a veil of yellow gauze. 



156 



FLOWERS OF GOLD 



THE GRAVE OF KEATS 

RID of the world's injustice, and his pain, 
He rests at last beneath God's veil of 
blue : 
Taken from life when life and love were new 
The youngest of the martyrs here is lain. 
Fair as Sebastian, and as early slain. 

No cypress shades his grave, no funeral yew. 
But gentle violets weeping with the dew 
Weave on his bones an ever-blossoming chain. 
O proudest heart that broke for misery 1 
O sweetest lips since those of Mitylene I 
O poet-painter of our English Land ! 

Thy name was writ in water it shall stand : 

And tears like mine will keep thy memory 

green, 
As Isabella did her Basil-tree. 

RoMi. 



147 



POEMS 



THEOCRITUS 



A VILLANELLE 



o 



SINGER of Persephone ! 
In the dim meadows desolate 
Dost thou remember Sicily ? 



Still through the ivy flits the bee 
Where Amaryllis lies in state ; 
O Singer of Persephone ! 

Simsetha calls on Hecate 

And hears the wild dogs at the gate ; 
Dost thou remember Sicily ? 

Still by the light and laughing sea 

Poor Polypheme bemoans his fate ; 
O Singer of Persephone I 

And still in boyish rivalry 

Young Daphnis challenges his mate ; 
Dost thou remember Sicily ? 

Slim Lacon keeps a goat for thee. 
For thee the jocund shepherds wait ; 

O Singer of Persephone 1 

Dost thou remember Sicily ? 
158 



FLOWERS OF GOLD 



IN THE GOLD ROOM 



A HARMONY 

HER ivory hands on the ivory keys 
Strayed in a fitful fantasy, 
Like the silver gleam when the poplar 
trees 
Rustle their pale leaves listlessly, 
Or the drifting foam of a restless sea 
When the waves show their teeth in the flyine 
breeze. * 

Her gold hair fell on the wall of gold 
Like the delicate gossamer tangles spun 

On the burnished disk of the marigold, 
Or the sunflower turning to meet the sun 
When the gloom of the dark blue night is 
done, 

And the spear of the lily is aureoled. 

And her sweet red lips on these lips of mine 
Uumed like the ruby fire set 

In the swinging lamp of a crimson shrine, 
Or the bleeding wounds of the pomegranate, 
Or the heart of the lotus drenched and wet ' 

With the spilt-out blood of the rose-red wine. 

159 



POEMS 



I 



BALLADE DE MARGUERITE 

(nokmande) 

AM weary of lying within the chase 
When the knights are meeting in market- 
place. 



Nay, go not thou to the red-roofed town 

Lest the hoofs of the war-horse tread thee down. 

But I would not go where the Squires ride, 
I would only walk by my Lady's side. 

Alack I and alack ! thou art overbold, 
A Forester's son may not eat off gold. 

Will she love me the less that my Father is seen 
Each Martinmas day in a doublet green ? 

Perchance she is sewing at tapestre. 
Spindle and loom are not meet for thee. 

Ah, if she is working the arras bright 
1 might ravel the threads by the fire-light. 
160 



BALLADE DE MARGUERITE 

Perchance she is hunting of the deer, 
How could you follow o'er hill and mere ? 

Ah, if she is riding with the court, 

I might run beside her and wind the morte. 

Perchance she is kneeling in St Denys, 
(On her soul may our Lady have gramercy I) 

Ah, if she is praying in lone chapelle, 

I might swing the censer and ring the belL 

Come in, my son, for you look sae pale. 
The father shall fill thee a stoup of ale. 

But who are these knights in bright array ? 
Is it a pageant the rich folks play ? 

'T is the King of England from over sea. 
Who has come unto visit our fair countrie. 

But why does the curfew toll sae low ? 
And why do the mourners walk a-row ? 

O 't is Hugh of Amiens my sister's son 
Who is lying stark, for his day is done. 

Nay. nay, for I see white lilies clear. 
It is no strong man who lies on the bier. 

't is old Dame Jeannette that kept the hall, 

1 knew she would die at the autumn fall. 

' lei 



POEMS 

Dame Jeannette had not that gold-brown hair. 
Old Jeannette was not a maiden fair. 

O 't is none of our kith and none of our kin, 
(Her soul may our Lady assoil from sin 1) 

But I hear the boy's voice chaunting sweet, 
• EUe est morte, la Marguerite." 

Come in, my son, and lie on the bed. 
And let the dead folk bury their dead. 

O mother, you know I loved her true : 
O mother, hatli one grave room for two ? 



162 



FLOWERS OF GOLD 



THE DOLE OF THE KING'S 
DAUGHTER 

(BRETON) 

SEVEN stars in the still water, 
And seven in the sky ; 
Seven sins on the King's daughter. 
Deep in her soul to lie. 

Red roses are at her feet, 

(Roses are red in her red-gold hair) 
And O where her bosom and girdle meet 

Red roses are hidden there. 



Fair is the knight who lieth slain 

Amid the rush and reed. 
See the lean fishes that are fain 

Upon dead men to feed. 

Sweet is the page that lieth there, 
(Cloth of gold is goodly prey,) 

See the black ravens in the air, 

Black, O black as the night are they. 

16S 



i ^ 



rsx 



a: J... 



n 



1 



POEMS 

What do they there so stark and dead ! 

(There is blood upon her hand) 
Why are the lilies Hecked with red ? 

(There is bkad on the river sand.) 

There are two that ride from the south and 
east. 

And two from the north and west. 
For the black raven a goodly feast. 

For the King's daught^ ^est. 

There is one man who ir /es her true, 
(Red, O red, is the stain of gore I) 

He hath diiggen a grave by the darksome yew, 
(One grave will do for four.) 

No moon in the still heaven. 

In the black water none, 
The sins on her soul are seven. 

The sin upon his is one. 



164 



FLOWERS OF GOLD 



AMOR INTELLECTUALIS 

OFT have we trod the vales of Castaly 
And heard sweet notes of sylvan music 
blown 
From antique reeds to common folk unknown: 
And often launched our bark upon that sea 
Which the nine Muses hold in empery, 

And ploughed free turrows through the wave 

and foam. 
Nor spread reluctant sail for more safe home 
Till we had freighted weU our argosy. 
Of which despoilM treasures these remain, 
Sordello's passion, and the honeyed line 
Of young Endymion, lordly Tamburlaine 
Driving his pampered jades, and, more than 
these. 
The seven-fold vision of the Florentine, 
And grave-browed Milton's solemn harmonies. 



163 



I I 






PO£MS 



SANTA DECCA 

THE Gods are de«d: no longer do we 
bring 
To grey-eyed Pallas crowns of dive- 
leaves t 
Demeter's child no more hath tithe of sheaves. 
And in the noon the careless shepherds sing, 
For Pan is dead, and all the wantoning 
By secret glade and devious haunt is o'er : 
Young Hylas seeks the water-springs no more; 
Great Pan is dead, and Mary's son is King. 

And yet — perchance in this sea-tranced isle. 
Chewing the bitter fruit of nnemory, 
Some God lies hidden in the asphodel. 

Ah Love ! if such there be, then it were well 
For us to fly his anger : nay, but see, 
The leaves are stirring : let us watch awhile. 

Cuimr. 



166 



FLOWERS OF GOLD 



A VISION 



TWO crownM Kings, and One that stood 
alone 
With no green weight of laurels round 
his head, 
But with sad eyes as one uncomforted, 
And wearied with man's never-ceasing moan 
For sins no bleating victim can atone. 

And sweet long lips with tears and kisses fed. 
Girt was he in a garment black and red, 
And at his feet I marked a broken stone 

Which sent up lilies, dove-like, to his knees. 
Now at their sight, my heart being lit with 

flame 
I cried to Beatricd, ' Who are these ? ' 
And she made answer, knowing well each name, 
' iEschylos first, the second Sophokles, 
And last (wide stream of tears 1) Euripides.' 



4^ 



1«7 



MIOOCOTY MSOIUTION TEST CHAKT 

lANSI and ISO TEST CHART No. 2) 




IJJS lu I,. 



Kl^i^ 



A APPLIED INA^GE In, 



165J Eost Moin Stre 



T 



POEMS 



IMPRESSION DE VOYAGE 

HE sea was sapphire coloured, and the 
sky 
Burned like a heated opal through the 
air; 
We hoisted sail ; the wind was blowing fair 
For the blue lands that to the eastward he. 
From the steep prow I marked with quickening 
eye 
Zakynthos, every olive grove and creek, 
Ithaca's cliff, Lycaon's snowy peak. 
And all the flower-strewn hills of Arcady. 
The flapping of the sail against the mast, 
The ripple of the water on the side, 
The ripple of girls' laughter at the stem, 
Tlie only sounds : — when 'gan the West to burn. 
And a red sun upon the seas to ride, 
1 stood upon the soil of Greece at last 1 

Katakolo, 



168 



FLOWERS OF GOLD 



THE GRAVE OF SHELLEY 

LIKE bumt-out torches by a sick man's bed 
Gaunt cypress-trees stand round the 
-^ sun-bleached stone ; 
Here doth the little night-owl make her 
throne, 
And the slight lizard show his jewelled head. 
And, where the chaliced poppies flame to red. 
In the still chamber of yon pyramid 
Surely some Old- World Sphinx lurks darkly 
hid. 
Grim warder of this pleasaunce of the dead. 

Ah ! sweet indeed to rest within the womb 
Of Earth, great mother of eternal sleep. 

But sweeter far for thee a restless tomb 
In the blue cavern of an echoing deep. 

Or where the tall ships founder in the gloom 
Against the rocks of some wave-shattered 
steep. 

RoMb 



169 



rOEMS 



BY THE ARNO 

THE oleander on the wall 
Grows crimson in the dawning 
light, 
Though the grey shadows of the night 
Lie yet on Florence like a pall. 

The dew is bright upon the hill, 
And bright the blossoms overhead. 
But ah 1 the grasshoppers have iled, 
The little Attic song is still. 

Only the leaves are gently stirred 
By the soft breathing of the gale, 
And in the almond-scented vale 
The lonely nightingi;le is heard. 

The day will make thee silent soon, 
O nightingale sing on for love ! 
While yet upon the shadowy grove 
Splinter the arrows of the moon. 

Before across the silent lawn 
In sea-green vest the morning steals. 
And to love's frightened eyes reveals 
The long white fingers of the dawn 
170 



BY THE ARNO 

Fast climbing up the eastern sky 
To grasp a»d slay the shuddering night. 
All careless of my heart's delight. 
Or if the nightingale should die. 



'^J;, 



171 



IMPRESSIONS DE THEATRE 



Ill 



FABIEN DEI FRANCHI 

To My Fbiend Henry Irving 

THE silent room, the heavy creeping 
shade, 
The dead that travel fast, the opening 
door. 
The murdered brother rising through the 
floor. 
The ghost's white Angers on thy shoulders laid. 
And then the lonely duel in the glade. 
The broken s\/ords, the stiHed scream, the 

gore. 
Thy grand revengeful eyes when all is o'er, — 
These tilings are well enough, — but thou wert 
made 
For more august creation I frenzied Lear 
Should at thy bidding wander on the heath 
With the shrill fool to mock him, Romeo 
For thee should lure his love, and desperate 

fear 
Pluck Richard's recreant dagger from its 
sheath — 
Thou trumpet set for Shakespeare's lips to 
blow I ^ 

175 



1'"' 




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M 




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■ 


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1 


'■• 


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I 


:j 


1 



POEMS 



PHfeDRE 



To SaKAH BKKNIIAaUT 

How vain and dull this common world 
must seem 
To such a Oiip as thou, who should'st 
have talked 
At Florence with Mirandola, or walked 
Through the cool olives of the Academe : 
'^hou should'st have gathered reeds from a 
green stream 
For Goat-foot Pan's shrill piping, and 'lave 

played 
With the white girls in th.ut Phaeacian glade 
Where grave Odysseus wakened from his dream. 

Ah ! surely once some urn of Attic clay 
Held thy wan dust, and thou hast come again 
Back to this common world so dull and vain, 

For thou wart weary of the sunless day. 
The heavy fields of scentless asphodel. 
The loveless lips with which men kiss in Hell 



17« 



SONNETS 



WRITTEN AT THE LYCEUM 
THEATRE 



PORTIA 

To Elien Teert 

I MARVEL not Bassanio was so bold 
To peril all he had upon the lead, 
Or that proud Aragon bent low his head 
Or that Morocco's fiery heart grew cold : 
Tor in that gorgeous dress of beaten gold 
Which is more golden than the golden sun 
No woman Veronese looked upon 
Was half so fair as thou whom 1 behold. 
Yet fairer when with wisdom as your shield 

'ine sober-suited lawyer's gown you donned, 
And would not let the laws of Venice yield 
Antonio's heart to that accurst Jew — 
O Portia I take my heart : it is thy due : 
I think I will not quarrel with the Bond. 



177 



POEMS 



QUEEN HENRIETTA MARIA 
To Ei.u.4 TiEtr 

IN the lone tent, waiting for victory, 
She stands with eyes marred by the 
mists of pain. 
Like some wan lily overdrenched with rain : 
The clamorous clang of arms, the ensanguined 

sky. 
War's ruin, and the wreck of chivalry 
To her proud soul no common fear can bring; 
Bravely she tarrieth for her Lord the King, 
Her soul a-flame with passionate ecstasy. 
O Hair of Gold 1 O Crimson Lips 1 O Face 
Made for the luring and the love of man ! 
With thee I do forget the toil and stress, 
The loveless road that knows no resting place. 
Time's straitened pulse, the soul's dread 

weariness. 
My freedom, and my life republican 1 



178 



IMPRESSIONS DE THfiAXRE 



CAMMA 

AS one who poring on a Grecian urn 
/-% Scans the fair shapes some Attic 

liand hath made, 
God with slim goddess, goodly man with 
maid, 
And for their beauty's sake is loth to turn 
And face the obvious day, must I not yearn 
For many a secret moon of indolent blisr 
When in the midmost shrine of Artemis 
I see thee standing, antique-limbed, and stem ? 

And yet— methinks I 'd rather see thee play 
That serpent of old Nile, whose witchery 

Made Emperors drunken,— come, great Euypt. 
shake 
Our stage with all thy mimic pageants I Nay, 
I am grown sick of unreal passions, make 

The world thine Actium. me thine Anthony 1 






179 



Ill' I 

i 



1. -II 



I 






PANTHEA 

NAY, let us walk from fire unto fire, 
From passionate pain to deadlier 
delight,— 
I am too young to live without desire. 
Too young art thou to waste this summer 
night 
Asking tliose idle questions which of old 
Man sought of seer and oracle, and no reply was 
told. '^ ' 

For, sweet, to feel is better than to know. 

And wisdom is a childless heritage. 
One pulse of passion— youth's first fiery glow,— 
Are worth the hoarded proverbs of the 
sage : 
Vex not thy soul with dead philosophy. 
Have we not lips to kiss with, hearts to love 
and eyes to see ! 



Dost thou not hear the murmuring nightingale. 
Like water bubbling from a silver jar. 

So soft she sings the envious moon is pale. 
That high in heaven she is hung so far 

188 



i 1 



POEMS 

She cannot hear that love-enraptured tune, 

Mark how she wreathes each horn with mist, 
yon late and labouring moon. 

White lilies, in whose cups the gold bees dream. 
The fallen snow of petals where the breeze 

Scatters the chestnut blossom, or the gleam 
Of boyis^i limbs in water,— are not these 

Enough for thee, dost thou des c more ? 

Alas ! the Gods will give nought else from their 
eternal store. 



I I 



For our high Gods have sick and wearied grown 
Of all our endless sins, our vain endeavour 

For wasted days of youth to make atone 

By pain or prayer or priest, and never, never. 

Hearken they now to either good or ill. 

But send their rain upon the just and the unjust 
at will. 



They sit at ease, our Gods they sit at ease. 
Strewing with leaves of rose their scented 
wine. 
They sleep, they sleep, beneath the rocking trees 

Where asphodel and yellow lotus twine. 
Mourning the old glad days before they knew 
What evil things the heart of man could dream, 
and dreaming do. 
184 



iL. 



PANTHEA 

And far beneath the brazen floor they see 
I.Ike swarming flies the crowd of little men. 

The bustle of small lives, then wearily 
Back to their lotus-haunts they turn again 

Kissmg each others' mouths, and mix more deep 

Ihe poppy-seeded draught which brings soft 
purple-lidded sleep. 

There all day long the golden- vestured sun, 
i heir torch-bearer, stands with his torch 
ablaze. 
And, when the gaudy web of noon is spun 
By Its twelve maidens, through the crimson 
naze 

Fresh from Endymion's arms comes forth the 
moon. 
And the immortal Gods in toils of mortal 
passions swoon. 

There walks Queen Juno through some dewv 
mead, ' 

Her grand white feet flecked with the saffron 
dust 

Of wind-stirred lilies, while young Ganymede 
Leaps m the hot and amber-ibamingmust, 
H,s curls aU tossed, as when the eagle bare 
Ihe frightened boy from Ida through the blue 
Ionian air. 

185 



! 



POEMS 
There in the green heart of some garden close 
Queen Venus with the shepherd at her side, 
Her warm soft body like the briar rose 

Which would be white yet blushes at its 
pride, 
Laughs low for love, till jealous Salmacis 
Peers through the myrtle-leaves and sighs for 
pain of lonely bliss. 

There never does that dreary north-wind blow 
Which leaves our English forests bleak and 
bare. 
Nor ever faUs the swift white-feathered snow. 

Nor ever doth the red-toothed lightning dare 
To wake them in the silver-fretted night 
When we lie weeping for some sweet sad sin, 
some dead delight. 

Alas 1 they know the far Lethean spring. 
The violet-hidden waters well they know, 

Where one whose feet with tired wandering 
Are faint and broken may take heart and go. 

And from those dark depths cool and crystalline 

Drink, and draw balm, and sleep for sleepless 
souls, and anodyne. 

But we oppress our natures, God or Fate 

Is our enemy, we starve and feed 
On vain repentance— O we are born too late I 

What balm for us in bruis^ P<'PPy seed 
186 



K^ 



PANTHEA 

Who crowd into one finite pulse of time 
Tlie joy of infinite love and the fierce pain of 
infinite crime. 

O w ; are wearied of this sense of guilt, 
Wearied of pleasure's paramour despair, 

Wearied of every temple we have built. 
Wearied of every rigiit, unanswered prayer, 

For man is weak ; God sleeps : and heaven is high : 

One fiery-coloured moment : one great love ; 
and lo ! we die. 



Ah ! but no ferry-man with labouring pole 
Nears his black shallop to the flowerless 
strand, 
No little coin of bronze can bring the soul 

Over Death's river to the sunless land. 
Victim and wine and vow are all in vain. 
The tomb is sealed; the soldiers watch; the 
dead rise not again. 

We are resolved into the supreme air. 

We are made one with what we touch and see. 

With our heart's blood each crimson sun is fair. 

With our young lives each spring-impassioned 

tree 

Flames into green, the wildest beasts that range 

The moor our kinsmen are, all life is one, and all 

is change. 

187 






POEMS 

With beat of systole and of diastole 
One grand great life throbs through earth's 
giant heart, 
And mighty waves of single Being roll 

From nerveless germ to man, for we are part 
Of every rock and bird and beast and hill, 
One with the things that prey on us, and one 
with what we kill. 

From lower cells of waking life we pass 

To full perfection ; thus the world grows old : 

We who are godlike now were once a mass 
Of quivering purple flpcked with bars of gold, 

Unsentient or of joy or misery, 

And tossed in terrible tangles of some wild and 
wind-swept sea. 

This hot hard flame with which our bodies burn 
Will make some meadow blaze with daffodil. 

Ay ! and those argent breasts of thine will turn 
To water-lilies ; the brown fields men till 

Will be more fruitful for our love to-night, 

Nothing is lost in nature, all things live in 
Death's despite. 

The boy's first kiss, the hyacinth's first bell. 
The man's last passion, and the last red spear 

That from the lily leaps, the aspiiodel 
Which will not let its blossoms blow for fear 
188 



PANTHEA 

Of too much beauty, and the timid shame 

Of the young bridegroom at his lover's eyes, 

these with the same 



One sacrament are consecrate, the earth 
Not we alone hath passions hymeneal. 
The yellow buttercups that shake for mirth 
At daybreak know a pleasure not less real 
Tiian we do, when in some fresh- blossoming 

wood. 
We draw the spring into our hearts, and feel 
that life is good. 

So when men bury us beneath the yew 

Thy crimson-stainkl mouth a rose will be. 
And thy soft eyes lush bluebells dimmed with 
dew, 
And when the white narcissus wantonly 
Kisses the wind its playmate some fiunt joy 
Will thrill our dust, and we will be again fond 
maid and boy. 

And thus without life's conscious torturing pain 

In some sweet flower we will feel the sun. 
And from the linnet's throat will sing again. 

And as two gorgeous-mailM snakes will run 
Over our graves, or as two tigers creep 
Through the hot jungle where the yellow-eyed 
huge lions sleep 

189 



m 



POEMS 

And give them battle 1 How my heart leapi up 

1 o thmlc of that grand living after death 
In besst and bird and flower, when this cup. 
Being filled too full of spirit, bursts for 
breath, 
And with the pale leaves ot some autumn day 
The soul earths earliest conqueror becomes 
earth's last great prey. 

O think of it I We shall inform ou.selves 

Into all sensuous life, the goat-foot Faun, 
The CenUur, or the merry bright-eyed Elves 
That leave their dan'ing rings to spite the 
dawn 
Upon the meadows, shall not be more near 
Than you and I to nature's mysteries, for we 
shall hear 

The thrush's hear* beat, and the daisies grow. 
And the wan snowd-op sighing for the sun 

On sunless days in winier, we shall know 
By whom the silver gossamer is spun, 

Who paints the diapered fritillaries. 

On what wide wings from shivering pine to pine 
the eagle flies. 

Ay 1 had we never loved at all, who knows 
If yonder daffodil had lured the bee 

Into its gilded womb, or any rose 
Had hung with crimson lamps its little tree I 
19U 



PANTHEA 

Methinks no leaf would ever bud in spring. 
But for the loversi' lips that kists, the poeti' lips 
that sing. 



Is the light vanished from our golden sun, 
Or is this dwdal-fashioned earth less fair. 

That we are nature's heritors, and one 

With every uulse of life that beats the air ? 

Rather new siiiis across the sky shall pass, 

New sr>Iendour come unto the flower, new glory 
to the grass. 



! 



And we two lovers shall not sit afar. 
Critics of nature, but the joyous sea 

Shall be our raiment, and the bearded star 
Slioot arrows at our pleasure I We shall be 

Part of the mighty universal whole, 

And through all aeons mix and mingle with the 
Kosmic Soul 1 



We shall be notes in that great Symphony 
Whose cadence circles through the rhythmic 
spheres. 
And all the live World's throbbing heart shall be 
One with our heart, the stealthy creeping 
years 
Have lost their terrors now, we shall not die. 
The Universe itself shall be our Immortality 1 

191 



\y m 



I M 



IMPRESSION 



LE REVEILI.ON 



THE sky is laced with fitful red, 
The circling mists and shadows 
flee, 
The duwn is rising from the sea. 
Like a white lady from her bed. 

And jagged brazen arrows fall 
Athwart the feathers of the night. 
And a long wave of yellow light 
Breaks silently on tower and hall, 

And spreading wide across the wold 
Wakes into flight some fluttering bird, 
And all the chestnut tops are stirred. 
And all the branches streaked with gold. 



195 



rOEMS 



AT VERONA 

HOW steep the stairs within Kings' 
houses are 
For exile- wearied feet as mine to tread, 
And O how salt and bitter is the bread 
Which falls from this Hound's tt Lie, — better far 
That I liad died in the red ways of war, 
Or that tlie gate of Florence bare my head. 
Than to live thus, by all things comraded 
Which seek the essence of my soul to mar. 

'Curse God and die: what better hope than 
this ? 
He hath forgotten thee in all the bliss 
Of his gold city, and eternal day ' — • 

Nay peace : behind my prison's blinded bars 
I do possess what none can take away. 
My love, and all the glory of the stars. 



196 



THE FOURTH MOVEMENT 



APOLOGIA 

IS it thy will that I should wax and wane, 
Barter my cloth of gold for hodden grey, 
And at thy pleasure weave that web of pain 
Whose bright'-it threads are each a wasted 
day? 

Is it thy will— Love that 1 love so well — 
That my Soul's House should be a tortured 
spot 
Wherein, like evil paramours, must dwell 
The quenchless flame, the worm that dieth 
not? 

Nay, if it be thy will I shall endure. 
And sell ambition at the common mart, 

And let dull failure be my vestiture, 
And sorrow dig its grave within n._, heart. 



Perchance it may be better so — at least 
I have not made my heart a heart of stone, 

Nor starved my boyhood ot its goodly feast. 
Nor waliied where Beauty is a thing unknown. 

197 



t;( 



POEMS 

Many a man hath done so ; sought to fence 
I n straitened bonds the soul that should be free, 

Trodden the dusty road of common sense, 
While all the forest sang of liberty. 

Not marking how the spotted hawk in flight 
Passed on wide pinion through the lofty air. 

To where some steep untrodden mountain height 
Caught the last tresses of the Sun God's liair. 

Or how the little flower he trod upon. 

The daisy, that white-feathered shield of gold. 
Followed with wistful eyes the wandering sun 

Content if once its leaves were aureoled. 

But surely it is something to have been 
The best beloved for a little wliile. 

To have walked hand in hand with Love, and seen 
His purple wings flit once across thy smile. 

Ay! though the gorged asp of passion feed 
On my boy's heart, yet have I burst the bars. 

Stood face to face with Beauty, known indeed 
The Love which moves the Sun and all the 
stars! 



108 



THE FOURTH MOVEMENT 



QUIA MULTUM AMAVI 



DEAR Heart, I think the young impas- 
sioned priest 
When first he takes from out the 
hidden shrine 
His God imprisoned in the Eucharist, 
iiud eats the bread, and drinks the dreadful 
wine, 

Feels not such awful wonder as I felt 
When first my smitten eyes beat full on thee. 

And all night long before thy feet I knelt 
Till thou wert wearied of Idolatry. 

Ahl hadst thou liked me less and loved me 
more, 

Through all those summer days of joy and rain, 
I had not now been sorrow's heritor, 

Or stood a lackey in the House of Pain. 

Yet, though remorse, youth's white - faced 
seneschal. 
Tread on my heels with all his retinue, 
I am most glad I loved thee — think of all 
The suns that go to make one speedwell blue ! 

199 



,a 



POEMS 



i 



A 



SILENTIUM AMORIS 

S often-times the too resplendent sun 

Hurries the pallid and reluctant moon 
Back to her sombre cave, ere she hath 
won 
A single ballad from the nightingale, 
So doth thy Beauty make my lips to fail. 
And all my sweetest singing out of tune. 

And as at dawn across the level mead 
On wings impetuous some wind will come. 

And with its too harsh kisses break the reed 
Which was ts only instrument of song. 
So my too stormy passions work me wrong. 

And for excess of Love my Love is dumb. 

But surely unto Thee mine eyes did show 
Why I am silent, and my lute unstrung ; 

Else it were better we should part, and go. 
Thou to some lips of sweeter melody, 
And I to nurse the barren memory 

Of unkissed kisses, and songs never sung. 



200 



THE FOURTH MOVEMENT 



HER VOICE 

THE wild bee reels from bough to bough 
With his furry coat and his gauzy wing, 
Now in a lily-cup, and now 
Setting a jacinth bell a-swing, 
III his wandering ; 
Sit closer love : it was here I trow 
I made that vow, 

Swore that two lives should be like one 
As long as the sea-gull loved tlie sea. 
As long as the sunflower sought the sun, — 
It shall be, I said, for eternity 
'Twixt you and me ! 
Dear friend, those times are over and done, 
Love's web is spun. 



I^ook upward where the poplar trees 
Sway and sway in the summer air. 
Here in the valley never a breeze 
Scatters the thistledown, but there 
Great winds blow fair 
From the mighty murmuring mystical seas, 
And the wave-lashed leas. 

201 



POEMS 

Ijook upward where the white gull screams. 

What does it see that we do not see ? 
Is that a star ? or the lamp that j^leams 
On some outward voyaging argosy, — 
Ah ! can it be 
We have lived our lives in a land of dreams I 
How sad it seems. 

Sweet, there is noth ing left to say 
But this, that love is never lost, 
Keen winter stabs the breasts of May 
Whose crimson roses burst his frost. 
Ships tempest-tossed 
Will find a harbour in some bay. 
And so we may. 

And there is nothing left to do 

But to kiss once again, and part. 

Nay, there is nothing we should rue, 

I have my beauty, — you your Art, 

Nay, do not start. 

One world was not enough for two 

Like me and you. 



208 



THE FOURTH MOVEMENT 



MY VOICE 

WITHIN this restless, hurried, modem 
world 
We look our hearts' ftill pleasure — 
You and I, 
And now the white sails of our ship are furled. 
And spent the lading of our argosy. 

Wherefore my cheeks before their time are wan. 
For very weeping is my gladness fled, 

Sorrow has paled my young mouth's vermilion, 
And Ruin draws the curtains of my bed. 

But all this crowded life has been to thee 
No more than lyre, or lute, or subtle spell 

Of viols, or the music of the sea 
That sleeps, a mimic echo, in the shell. 



t.*' 



808 



J 



l\ w 



\ 



POEMS 



T^DKJM VITiK 

TO sUb my youth with desperate knives, 
to wear 
This paltry age's gaudy livery, 
To let each base hand filch my treasury. 
To mesh my soul within a woman's hair, 
And be mere Fortune's lackeyed groom,— I 

swear 
I love it not I these things are less to me 
Than the thin foam that frets upon the sea. 
Less than the thistledown of summer air 
Which hath no seed : better to stand aloof 
Far from these slanderous fools who mock my 

life 
Knowing me not, better the lowliest roof 
Fit for the meanest hind to sojourn in. 
Than to go back to that hoarse cave of strife 
Where my white soul first kissed the mouth of 

sin. 



804 



HUMANITAD 



IT it full winter now : the trees are b«re, 
Save where the cattle huddle from the 
cold 
Beneath the pine, for it doth never wear 

The Autumn's gaudy livery whose gold 
Her jealous brother pilfers, but is true 
To the green doublet; bitter is the wind, as 
though it blew 

From Saturn's cave ; a few thin wisps of hay 
Lie on the sharp black hedges, where the wain 

Dragfred the sweet pillage of a summer's day 
From the low meadows up the narrow lane ; 

Upon the half-thawed snow the bleating sheep 

Press close against the hurdles, and the shiver- 
ing house-dogs creep 

From the shut stable to the frozen stream 

And back again disconsolate, and miss 
The bawling shepherds and the noisy team ; 

And overhead in circling listlessness 
The cawing rooks whirl round the frosted stack. 
Or crowd the dripping boughs ; and in the fen 
the ice-pools crack 

207 



'V m 



s , 






POEMS 

Where the gaunt bittern stalks among the reeds 
And flaps his wings, and stretches back his 
neck, 
And hoots to see the moon ; across the meads 

Limps the poor frightened hare, a little speck; 
And a stray searnew with its fretful cry 
Flits like a sudden drift of snow against the 
dull irrey sky. 

Full winter: and the lusty goodman brings 
His load of faggots from the chilly byre. 

And stamps his feet upon the hearth, and flings 
The sappy billets on the waning fire, 

And laughs to see the sudden lightening scare 

His child! -n at their play ; and yet,— the Spring 
is in the air. 

Already the slim crocus stirs the snow. 
And soon yon blanched fields will bloom 
again 
With nodding cowslips for some lad to mow. 
For with the first warm kisses of the rain ' 
The winter's icy sorrow breaks to tears, 
And the brown thrushes mate, and with bright 
eyes the rabbit peers 

From the dark warren where the fir-cones lie. 
And treads one snowdrop under foot, and 
runs 
208 






HUMANITAD 
Over the mossy knoll, and blackbirds fly 

Across our path at evening, and the suns 
Stay longer with us ; ah t how good to see 
Grass-girdled Spring in all her jiy of laughing 
greenery 

Dance through the hedges til'. V<i wMy rose, 
(That sweet repentance of the thorny briar I) 

Burst from its sheathed emerald and disclose 
The little quivering disk of golden fire 

^Vhich the bees know so well, for with it come 

I'ale boy's-love, sops-in-wine, and daffadiUies all 
in bloom. 

Then up and down the field the sower goes, 
While close behind the laughing you'nker 
scares 
With shrilly whoop the black and thievish 
crows. 
And then the chestnut-tree its glory wears. 
And on the grass the creamy blossom falls 
In odorous excess, and faint half-whispered 
madrigals 



Steal from the bluebells' nodding carillons 
Each breezy morn, and then white jessamine, 

That star of its own heaven, snap-dragons 
With lolling crimson tongues, and eglantine 
• 209 



I 



POEMS 

In dusty velvets clad usurp the bed 
And woodland enipery, and when the lingering 
rose hath shed 



i , 



Red leaf by leaf its folded panoply, 

And pansies closed their purple-lidded eyes. 

Chrysanthemums from gilded argosy 

Unload their gaudy scentless merchandise. 

And violets getting overbold withdraw 

From their shy nooks, and scarlet berries dot 
the leafless haw. 






O happy field 1 and O thrice happy tree ! 

Soon will your queen in daisy-flowered smock 
And crown of flower-de-luce trip down the lea. 

Soon will the lazy shepherds drive their flock 
Back to the pasture by the pool, and soon 
Through the green leaves will float the hum of 
murmuring bees at noon. 



i ; 

V 



Soon will the glade be bright with bellamour. 
The flower which wantons love, and those 
sweet nuns 
Vale-lilies in their snowy vestiture 

Will tell their beaded pearls, and carnations 
With mitred dusky leaves will scent the wind. 
And straggling traveller's-joy each hedge with 
yellow stars will bind. 
210 



HUMANITAD 

Dear Bride of T^ature and most bounteous 
Spring 1 
That canst give increase to the sweet-breath 'd 
kine. 
And to the kid its little horns, and bring 
The soft and silky blossoms to the vine, 
Where is that old nepenthe which of yore 
Man got from poppy root and glossy-berried 
mandragore 1 

There was a time when any common bird 
Could make me sing in unison, a time 

When all the strings of boyish life were stirred 
To quick response or more melodious rhyme 

By every forest idyll ;— do I change ? 

Or rather doth some evil thing through thy fair 
pleasaunce range ? 

Nay, nay, thou art the same: 'tis I who seek 

To vex with sighs thy simple solitude, 
And because fruitless tears bedew my cheek 
Would have thee weep with me ni brother- 
hood; 
Fool ! shall each wronged and restless spirit dare 
To taint such wine with the salt poison of his 
own despair ! 

Thou art the same : 't is I whose wretched soul 

Takes discontent to be its paramour. 
And gives its kingdom to the rude control 

211 



9 I 



POEMS 

Of what should be its servitor, — for sure 
Wisdom is somewhere, though the stonny ses 
Contain it not, and the huge deep answer ' 'Tis 
not in me.' 

To burn with one clear flame, to stand erect 
In natural honour, not to bend the knee 

In profitless prostrations whose effect 
Is by itself condemned, what alchemy 

Can teach me this ? what herb Medea brewed 

Will bring the unexultant peace of essence not 
subdued ? 

The minor chord which ends the harmony. 
And for its answering brother waits in vain 

Sobbing for incompleted melody. 

Dies a Swan's death ; but I the heir of pain, 

A silent Memnon with blank lid-less eyes. 

Wait for the light and music of those suns 
which never rise. 



The quenched-out torch, the lonely cypress- 
gloom, 
The little dust stored in the narrow urn, 
The gentle XAIPE of the Attic tomb,— 
Were not these better far than to return 
To my old fitful restless malady. 
Or spend my days within the voiceless cave of 
misery? 
212 



HUMANITAD 

Nay I for perchance that poppy-crownM God 
Is like the watcher by a sick man's bed 

Who talks of sleep but gives it not ; his rod 
Hath lost its virtue, and, when all is said, 

Death is too rude, too obvious a key 

To solve one single secret in a life's philosophy. 

And Love I that noble madness, whose august 
And inextinguishable might can slay 

The soul with honeyed drugs, — alas 1 I must 
From such sweet ruin play the runaway. 

Although too constant memory never can 

Forget the arched splendour of those brows 
Olympian 

Which for a little season made my youth 
So soft a swoon of exquisite indolence 

That all the chiding of more prudent Truth 
Seemed the thin voice of jealousy, — O Hence 

Thou huntress deadlier than Artemis I 

Go seek some other quarry! for of thy too 
perilous bliss 

My lips have drunk enough, — no more, no 
more, — 
Though Love himself should turn his gilded 
prow 
Back to the troubled waters of this shore 
Where I am wrecked and stranded, even now 

218 



POEMS 

The chariot 'vheels of passion sweep too near, 
Hence ! Hence I I pass unto a life nr.ore barren, 
more austere. 

More barren — ay, those arms will never lean 
Down through the trellised vines and draw 
my soul 
In sweet reluctance through the tangled green ; 

Some other head must wear that aureole. 
For I am Hers who loves not any man 
Whose white and stainless bosom bears the sign 
Gorgonian. 

Let Venus go and chuck her dainty page. 
And kiss his mouth, and toss his curly hair. 

With net and spear and hunting equipage 
Let young Adunis to his tryst repair. 

But me her fond and subtle-fashioned spell 

Delights no more, though I could win her 
dearest citadel. 

Ay, though I were that laughing shepherd boy 

Who from M<iiint Ida saw the little cloud 
Pass over Tenedos and lofty Troy 

And knew the coming of the Queen, and 
bowed 
In wonder at her feet, not for the sake 
Of a new Helen would I bid her hand the apple 
take. 
214 



HUMANITAD 

Then rise supreme Athena argent-limbed I 
And, if my lips be music-less, inspire 

At least my life : was not thy glory hymned 
By One who gave to thee his sword and lyre 

Like vEschylos at well-fought Marathon, 

And died to show that Milton's England stiU 
could bear a sor I 

And yet I cannot tread the Portico 
And live without desire, fear and pain. 

Or nurture that wise calm which long ago 
The grave Athenian master taught to men, 

belf-poised, self-centred, and self-comforted. 

To watch the world's vain phantasies go by with 
un-bowed head 

Alas 1 that serene brow, those eloquent lips. 
Those eyes that mirrored all eternity. 

Rest in their own Colonos, an eclipse 
Hath come on Wisdom, and Mnemosyne 

Is childless ; in the night which she had made 

For lofty secure flight Athena's owl itself hath 
strayed. 

Nor much with Science do I care to cUmb, 
Although by strange and subtle witcher^ 
She draw the moon from heaven : the Muse of 
Time 
Unrolls her gorgeous-coloured tapestry 

215 



m 



, C ,i: i 



POEMS 

To no less eager eyes ; often indeed 
In the great epic of Polymnia's scroll I love to 
lead 



How Asia sent her myriad hosts to war 
Against a little town, and panoplied 

In gilded mail with jewelled scimitar, 
White-shielded, purple-crested, rode the Mede 

Between the waving poplars and the sea 

Which men call Artemisium, till he saw Ther- 
mopyls 



Its steep ravine spanned by a narrow wall, 
And on the nearer side a little brood 

Of careless lions holding festival I 
And stood amazed at such hardihood. 

And pitched his tent upon the reedy shore. 

And stayed two days to wonder, and then crept 
at midnight o'er 



Some unfrequented lieight, and coming down 

The autumn forests treacherously slew 
What Sparta held most dear and was the 
crown 
Of far Eurotas, and passed on, nor knew 
How God had staked an evil net for him 
In the small bay at Salamis, — and yet, the page 
grows dim, 
216 



HUMANITAD 

Its cadenced Greek delights me not, I feel 
With such a goodly time too out of tune 
To love it much : for like the Dial's wheel 
'"hat from its blinded darkness strikes 
noon 

Yet never sees the sun, so do my eyes 
Restlessly follow that whiuh from my cheated 
vision ilies. 



the 



speak ye 



O for one grand unselfish simple life 
To teach us what is Wisdom I 
hills 
Of lone Helvellyn, for this note of strife 

Shunned your untroubled crags and crystel 
rills. 
Where is that Spirit which living blamelessly 
Yet dared to kiss the smitten mouth of his own 
century 1 

Speak ye Rydalian laurels 1 where is He 
Whose gentle head ye sheltered, that pure 
soul 
Whose gracious days of uncrowned majesty 
Through lowliest conduct touched the lofty 
goal 
Where Love and Duty mingle ! Him at least 
The most high Laws were glad of. He had sat 
at Wisdom's feast, 

217 



, 1 



' r 



POEMS 

But we are Learning's changelings, know by rote 

The clarion watchword of each Grecian school 

And follow none, the flawless sword which 

smote 

The pagan Hydra is an effete tool 

Which we ourselves have blunted, what man 

now 
Shall scale the august ancient heights and to 
old Reverence bow ? 

One such indeed I saw, but, Ichabod I 
Gone is that last dear son of Italy, 

Who being man died for the sake of God, 
And whose un-risen bones sleep peacefully, 

O guard him, guard him well, my Giottos 
tower. 

Thou marble lily of the lily town i let not tlie lour 

Of the rude tempest vex his slumber, or 
The Arno with its tawny troubled gold 

O'er-leap its marge, no mightier conqueror 
Clomb tiie high Capitol in the days of old 

When Rome was indeed Rome, for Liberty 

Walked like a Bride beside him, at which sight 
pale Mystery 

Fled shrieking to her farthest sombrest cell 

With an old man who grabbled rusty keys. 
Fled shuddering, for that immemorial knell 
218 



HUMANITAD 

With which oblivion buries dynasties 
Swept like a wounded eagle on the blast, 
As to the holy heart of Rome the great triumvir 
passed. 

He knew the holiest heart and heights of Rome. 

He drave the base wolf from the lions lair, 
And now lies dead by that empyreal dome 

^^'hit■h overtops Valdarno hung in air 
By Brunelleschi— O Melpomene 
Breathe through thy melancholy pipe thy 
sweetest threnody I 

Breathe through the tragic stops such melodies 
That Joy s self may grow jealous, and the Nine 
l-orget awhile their discreet emperies, 
Mourning for him who on Rome's lordliest 
shrine 
Lit for men's lives the light of Marathon, 
And bare to sun-forgotten fields the fire of the 
sun I 

O guard him, guard him weU, my Giotto's 
tower. 
Let some young Florentine each eventide 
Bring coronals of that enchanted flower 

Which the dim woods of Vallombrosa hide. 
And deck the marble tomb wherein he lies 
Whose soul is as some mighty orb unseen of 
mortal eyes. 

219 



' ■'3 



;f^ 



POEMS 

Some mighty orb whose cycled wandering!, 
Being tempest-driven to the farthest rim 

Where Chaos meets Creation and tlie wings 
Of the eternal chanting Cherubim 

Are pavilioned on Nothing, passed away 

Into a moonless void,— and yet, though he is 
dust and clay. 



He is not dead, the immemorial Fates 
Forbid it, and the closing shears retrain. 

Lift up your heads ye everlasting gates 1 
Ye argent clarions, sound a loftier strain 1 

For the vile thing he hated lurks within 

Its sombre liouse, alone with God and memories 
of sin. 

Still what avails i', that she sought her cave 
That murderous mother of red liarlotries ? 

At Munich on the marble architrave 

The Grecian boys die smiling, but the seas 

Which wash ^Egina firet in loneliness 

Not mirroring their beauty, so our lives grow 
colourless 



For lack of our ideals, if one star 

Flame torch-like in the heavens the unjust 
Swift daylight kills it, and no trump of war 

Can wake to passionate voice the silent dust 
820 



HUMANITAD 

Which WM Mazzini once I rich Niobe 
For mil her stony sorrows hath her sons, but 
Italy 1 

What Easter Day shall make her children rise. 
Who were not Gods yet suffered ? what sure 
feet 
Shall find their grave-clothes folded ? what clear 
eyes 
Shall see them bodily ? O it were meet 
To roll the stone from off the sepulchre 
And kiss the bleeding roses of their wounds, in 
love of Her 

Oiir Italy 1 our mother visible 1 

Most blessed among nations and most sad. 
For whose dear sake the young Calabriari fell 

That day at Aspromontf and was glad 
That in an age when God was bought and sold 
One man could die for Liberty I but we, burnt 
out and cold. 

See Honour smitten on the cheek and gyves 

Bind the sweet feet of Mercy : Poverty 
Creei" tho i^h our sunless lanes and with sharp 

Cuts tiic tvaini throats of . hildren stealthily. 
And no word said : — O we are wretched men 
Unworthy of our great inheritance ! where is 
the pen 

221 



POEMS 

Of austere Milton ? where the mighty sword 
Which slew its master righteously ? the years 

Have lost their ancient leader, and no word 
Breaks from the voiceless tripod on our ears : 

While as a ruined mother in some spasm 

Bears a base child and loathes it, so our best 
enthusiasm 



\[ 



Genders unlawful children. Anarchy 
Freedom's own Judas, the vile prodigal 

Licence who steals the gold of Liberty 
And yet has nothing. Ignorance the real 

One Fratricide since Cain, Envy the asp 

That stings itself to anguish. Avarice whose 
palsied grasp 

Is in its extent stiffened, moneyed Greed 

For whose dull appetite men waste away 
Amid the whirr of wheels and are the seed 
Of things which slay their sower, these each 
day 
Sees rife in England, and the gentle feet 
Of Beauty tread no more the stones of each 
unlovely street 

What even Cromwell spared is desecrated 

By weed and worm, left to the stormy play 
Of wind and beating snow, or renovated 
222 



HUMANITAD 

By more destructful hands: Time's worst 
decay 
Will wreathe its ruins with some loveliness, 
But these new Vandals can but make 



' barrenness. 



a ram- 



Where is that Art which bade the Angels sing 
Through Lincoln's lofty choir, till the air 

Seems from such marble harmonies to ring 
With sweeter song than common lips can dare 

To draw from actual reed ? ah 1 where is now 

The cunning hand which made the flowering 
hawthorn branches bow 

For Southwell's arch, and carved the House of 
One 
Who loved the lilies of the field with all 
Our dearest English flowers ? the saine sun 

Rises for us : the seasons natural 
Weave tiie same tapestry of green and grey : 
The unchanged hills are with us : but that Spirit 
hath passed away. 

And yet perchance it may be better so, 
For Tyranny is an incestuous Queen, 
Murder her brother is her bedfellow. 
And the Plague chambers with her 
obscene 
And bloody paths her treacherous feet are set ; 
Better the empty desert and a soul inviolate I 

223 



in 



II 



r \ 



i_jj 



I, .■ 



POEMS 

For gentle brotherhood, the hannony 

Of living in the healtl ful air, the swift 
Clean beauty of strong limbs when men are free 
And women chaste, these are the things 
which lift 
Our souls up more than even Agnolo's 
Gaunt blinded Sibyl poring o'er the scroll of 
human woes. 

Or Titian's little maiden on the stair 
White as her own sweet lily and as tall. 

Or Mona Lisa smiling through her hair,— 
Ah ! somehow life is bigger after all 

Than any painted Angel, could we see 

The God that is within usl The old Greek 
serenity 

Which curbs the passion of that level line 
Of marble youths, who with untroubled eyes 

And chastened limbs ride round Athena's shrine 
And mirror her divine economies. 

And balanced symmetry of what in man 

Would else wage ceaseless warfare,— this at 
least within the span 

Between our mother's kisses and the grave 
Might so inform our lives, that we could win 

Such mighty empires that from her cave 
Temptation would grow hoarse, and pallid Sin 
224 






HUMANITAD 

Would walk ashamed of his adulteries. 
And Passion creep from out the House of Lust 
with startled eyes. 

To make the Body and the Spirit one 

With all right things, till no thing live in 
vain 
From mom to noon, but in sweet unison 
^ With every pulse of flesh and throb of brain 
The Soul in flawless essence high enthroned, 
Against all outer vain attack invincibly bas- 
tioned, 

Mark with serene impartiality 

The strife of things, and yet be comforted. 
Knowing that by the chain causality 

All separate existences are wed 
Into one supreme whole, whose utterance 
Is joy, or holier praise I ah I surely this were 
governance 

Of Life in most august omnipresence. 
Through which the rational intellect would 
find 
In passion its expression, and mere sense, 

Ignoble else, lend fire to the mind, 
And being joined with it in harmony 
More mystical than that which binds the stars 
planetary, 

' SStf 



V < 






POEMS 

Strike from their several tones one octave chord 

Whose cadence being measureless would fty 
Through all the circling spheres, then to its 
Lord 
Return refreshed with iU new empenr 
And more exultant power.-this indeed 
Could we but reach it were to find the last, the 
perfect creed. 

Ah 1 it was easy when the worid was young 
To keep one's life free and inviolate, 

From our sad lips another song is rung. 
By our -wn hands our heads are desecrate. 

Wanderer . in drear exiie, and dispossessed 

Of what should be our own. we can but feed on 
wild unrest. 

Somehow the grace, the bloom of things has 

flown, , J u 

And of all men we are most wretched who 
Must live each other's lives and not our own 

For very pity's sake and then undo 
All that we lived for— it was otherwise 
When soul and body seemed to blend in mystic 
symphonies. 

But we have left those gentle haunts to pass 

With weary feet to the new Calvary, 
Where we behold, as one who in a glass 
226 



HUMANITAD 

Sees his own face, self-slain Humanity, 
And in the dumb reproach of that sad gaze 
Learn what an awful phantom the red hand of 
man can raise. 

O smitten mouth 1 O forehead crowned with 
tiiorn ! 
O chalice of all common miseries ! 
Thou for our sakes that loved thee not hast 
borne 
An agony of endless centuries. 
And we were vain and ignorant nor knew 
That when we sUbbed thy heart it was our own 
real hearts we slew. 



Being ourselves the sowers and the seeds. 
The night that covers and the lights that 
fade. 
The spear that pierces and the side that bleeds. 

The lips betraying and the life betrayed ; 
The deep hath calm : the moon hath rest : but 

we 
Lords of the natural world are yet our own 
dread enemy. 

Is this the end of all that primal force 

Which, in its changes being still the same, 
From eyeless Chaos cleft its upward course, 

227 



POEMS 

Through ravenous seas and whirling rocks 
and flame, 
Till the suns met in heaven and began 
Their cycles, and the morning stars sang, and 
the Word was Man ! 

Nay, nay, we are but crucified, and though 
The bloody sweat falls from our brows like 
nun. 
Loosen the nails— we shall come down I know. 
Staunch the red wounds— we shall be whole 
again. 
No need have we of hyssop-laden rod. 
That which is purely human, that is todUKe, 
that is God. 



898 



m I 



rATKTniKPOS EPflS 

SWEET, I blame you not, for mine the 
fault was, had I not been made of 
common clay 
I had climbed the higher heights unclimbed 
yet, seen the fuller air, the larger day. 

From the wildness of my wasted passion I had 

struck a better, clearer song. 
Lit some lighter light of freer freedom, battled 

with some Hydra-headed wrong. 

Had my lips been smitten into music by the 
kisses that but made them bleed. 

You had walked with Bice and the angels on 
that verdant and enamelled mead. 

I had trod the road which Dante treading saw 

the suns of seven circles shine. 
Ay! perchance had seen the heavens opening, 

as they opened to the Florentine. 

And the mighty nations would have crowned 
me, who am crownless now and without 
name, 

231 



il 



POEMS 

And some orient dawn had found me kneeling 
on the threshold of the House of Fame. 

I had sat within that marble circle where the 

oldest bard is as the young, 
And the pipe is ever dropping honey, and the 

lyre's strings are ever strung. 

Keats had lifted up his hymeneal curls from out 

the poppy-seeded wine. 
With ambrosial mouth had kissed my forehead, 

clasped the hand of noble love in mine. 

And at springtide, when the apple-blossoms 
brush the burnished bosom of the dove. 

Two young lovers lying in an orchard would 
have read the story of our love. 

Would have read the legend of my passion, 
known the bitter secret of my heart. 

Kissed as we have kissed, but never parted as 
we two are fated now to part 

For the crimson flower of our life is eaten by 

the cankerwor: of truth. 
And no hand can gather up the faUen withered 

petals of the rose of youth. 



rATKTniKPOJ BPns 

Yet I mm not sorry th«t I loved you— »h I wh*t 

else had I a boy to do, — 
For the hungry teeth of time devour, and the 

silent-footed years pursue. 

Rudderless, we drift athwart a tempest, and 
when once the storm of youth is past. 

Without lyre, without lute or chorus, Death 
the silent pilot comes at last. 

And within the grave there is no pleasure, for 
the blind worm battens on the root, 

x\nd Desire shudders into ashes, and the tree of 
Passion bears no fruit 

Ah 1 what else had I to do but love you, God's 
own mother was less dear to me, 

And less dear the Cytherwan rising like an 
argent lily from the sea. 

I have made my choice, have lived my poems, 
and, though youth is gone in wasted days, 

I have found the lover's crown of myrtle better 
than the poet's crown of bays. 



'm 



288 



UNCOLLECTED POEMS 



I"\ 



FROM SPRING DAYS TO WINTER 

(fob music) 

IN the glad spring time when leaves were 
green, 
O merrily 1 he throstle sings 1 
I sought, amid the tangled sheen. 
Love whom mine eyes had n ver seen, 
O the glad dove has golden wings I 

Between the blossoms red and white, 

O merrily the throstle sings ! 
My love Sist came into my sight, 
O perfect vision of delight, 

O the glad dove has golden wings I 






The yellow apples glowed like fire, 

O merrily the throstle sings 1 
O Love too great for lip or lyre. 
Blown rose of love and of desire, 
O the glad dove has golden wings I 



287 



I:' 'M 



POEMS 

But now with snow the tree is grey, 
Ah, sadly now the throstle sings I 

My love is dead : ah I well-a-day. 

See at her silent feet I lay 
A dove with broken wings I 
Ah, Love 1 ah, Love ! that thou wert slain— 

Fond Dove, fond Dove return again 1 



288 



UNCOLLECTED POEMS 



aDii 



wov, auMvov tan, ro 



S'cS) 



OWELL for him who lives at ease 
With garnered gold in wide domain. 
Nor heeds the splashing of the rain. 
The crashing down of forest trees. 

O well for him who ne'er hath known 
The travail of the hungry years, 
A father grey with grief and tears, 

A mother weeping all alone. 

But well for him whose foot hath trod 

The weary road of toil and strife. 

Yet from the sorrows of his life 
Builds ladders to be nearer God. 



S 



1, ! 



880 






POEMS 



THE TRUE KNOWLEDGE 

. . . ovayKcucttf S' ^ei 
Kiu, Tov ixh) cTifai Tov Sj /ti;. 

THOU knowest all ; I seek in vain 
What lands to till or sow v/ith seed — 
The land is Mock with briar and 
weed, 
Nor cares for falling tears or rain. 



Thou knowest all ; I sit and wait 

With blinded eyes and hands that fiiil, 
Till the last lifting of the veil 

And the first opening of the gate. 

Thou knowest all ; I cannot see. 
I trust I shall not live in vain, 
I know that we shall meet again 

In some divine eternity. 



t40 



UNCOLLECTED POEMS 



LOTUS LEAVES 

vtiu<r<rwfi,<u ye ftiv ovSa* 
kWciv OS w $di^ai, Pporav koX jroT/iOK im<nrg, 
Tovro w Kol yifuK olov oCl^vpoiai fiporouri, 
Ktipa<r0<u re (td/tijv ^SoX^ew r diro 8a.Kpv vapamv. 

THERE is no peace beneath the noon. 
Ah ! in those meadows is there peace 
Where, girdled with a silver fleece, 
As a bright shepherd, strays the moon ? 

Queen of the gardens of the sky, 

Where stars like lilies, white and fair, 
Shiue through the mists of frosty air. 

Oh, tarry, for the dawn is nigh I 

Oh, tarry, for the envious day 
Stretches long hands to catch thy feet 
Alas I but thou art over-fleet, 

Alas 1 I know thou wilt not stay. 

Up sprang the sun to run his race. 
The breeze blew fair on meadow and lea • 
But in the west I seemed to see 

The likeness of a human face. 

* 241 



Sr.| 



|ri: 



POEMS 

A linnet on the hawthorn spray 
Sang of the glories of the spring, 
And made the flow'ring copses ring 

With gladness for the new-born day. 

A lark from out the grass I trod 
Flew wildly, and was lost to view 
In the great seamless veil of blue 

That hangs before the face of God. 

The willow whispered overhead 
Tliat death is but a newer life, 
And that with idle words of strife 

We bring dishonour on the dead. 

I took a branch from oflF the tree. 

And hawthorn-blossoms drenched with dew, 
I bound them with a sprig of yew, 

And made a garland fair to see. 

I laid the flowers where He lies, 

(Warm leaves and flowers on the stone) ; 
What joy I had to sit alone 

Till evening broke on tired eyes : 

Till all the shifting clouds had spun 
A robe of gold for God to wear, 
And into seas of purple air 

Sank the bright galley of the sun. 

242 



LOTUS LEAVES 

Shall I be gladdened for the day. 
And let my inner heart be stirred 
By murmuring tree or song of bird. 

And sorrow at the wild wind's play ? 

Not so : such idle dreams belong 
To souls of lesser depth than mine ; 
I feel that I am half divine; 

I know that I am great and strong. 

I know that every forest tree 
By labour rises from the root ; 
I know that none shall gather fruit 

By sailing on the barren sea. 



248 



POEMS 



WASTED DAYS 

(from a picture painted by miss v. t.) 

A FAIR slim boy not made for this world's 
pain, 
With hair of gold thick clustering 
round his ears. 
And longing eyes half veiled by foolish tears 
Like bluest water seen through mists of rain ; 
Pale cheeks whereon no kiss hath left its stain. 
Red under-lip drawn in for fear of Love, 
And white throat whiter than the breast of 
dove — 
Alas ! alas I if all should be in vain. 

Com-fields behind, and reapers all a-row 

In weariest labour toiling wearily. 

To no sweet sound of laughter or of lute. 



And careless of the crimson sunset glow. 

The boy still dreams ; nor knows that night is 

nigh. 
And in the night-time no man gathers fruit 



1^ 



244 






UNCOLLECTED POEMS 



IMPRESSIONS 



LE JARDIN 

THE lily's withered chalice falls 
Around its rod of dusty gold. 
And from the beech-trees on the 
wold 
The last wood-pigeon coos and calls. 

The gaudy leonine sunflower 

Hangs black and barren on its stalk. 
And down the windy garden walk 

The dead leaves scatter, — hour by hour. 

Pale privet-petals white as milk 

Are blown into a snowy mass : 

The roses lie upon the grass 
Like little shreds of crimson silk. 






245 



h_ 



POEMS 



II 



LA M£R 



A WHITE mist drifts across the shrouds, 
A wild moon in this wintry sky 
Gleams like an angry lion's eye 
Out of a mane of tawny clouds. 

The muffled steersman at the wheel 
Is but a shadow in the gloom ; — 
And in the throbbing engine room 

Leap the long rods of polished steel. 

The shattered storm has left its trace 
Upon this huge and heaving dome. 
For the thin threads of yellow foam 

Float on the waves like ravelled lace. 



tM 



UNCOLLECTED POEMS 



UNDER THE BALCONY 

O BEAUTIFUL star with the crinuon 
mouth 1 
O moon with the brows of gold I 
Rise up, rise up, from the odorous south I 
And light for my love her way. 
Lest her little feet should stray 
On the windy hill and the wold 1 
O beautiful star with the crimson mouth ! 
O moon with the brows of gold ! 

O ship that shakes on the desolate sea ! 

O ship with the wet, white sail 1 
Put in, put in, to the port to me I 
For my love and I would go 
To the land where the daffodils blow 
In the heart of a violet dale I 
O ship that shakes on the desolate sea 1 
O ship with the wet, white sail ! 

O rapturous bird with the low, sweet note 1 

O bird that sings on the spray I 
Sing on, sing on, from your solt brown throat I 
And my love in her little bed 
Will listen, and liit her head 

247 



m 



' J 



i t 



POEMS 

From the pillow, and come my way i 
O rapturous bird with the low, tweet note I 
O bird that sits on the spray 1 

O blossom that hangs in the tremulous air I 

O blossom with lips of snow I 
Come down, come down, for my love to wear I 
You will die on her head in a crown, 
You will ' . ; in a fold of her gown. 
To her little ight heart you will got 
O blossom that hangs in the tremulous air I 
O blossom with lips of snow I 



248 



UNCOLLECTED POEMS 






THE HARLOT'S HOUSE 

WE caught the tread of diiiicing feet, 
We loitered down tlic .noonlit 
street, 
And stopped beneath the harlots house. 

Inside, above the din and fmy. 
We heard the loud ntiusicim s pluv 
The ' Treues Liebes Herz ' of Sirauss. 

Like strange mechanical grotesques. 

Making fantastic arabesques, 

The shadows raced across the blind. 

We watched the ghostly dancers spin 

To sound of horn and violin. 

Like black leaves wheeling in the wind. 

Like wire-pulled automatons. 

Slim silhouetted skeletons 

Went sidling through the slow quadrille. 

They tool; each other by the hand. 
And danced a stately saraband ; 
Their laughter echoed thin and shriU. 

249 



POEMS 

Sometimes a clockwork puppet pressed 
A phantom lover to her breast. 
Sometimes they seemed to try to sing. 

Sometimes a honible marionette 
Came out, and smoked its cigarette 
Upon the steps like a live tiling. 

Then, turning to iny love, I said, 
' The dead are dancing with the dead. 
The dust is whirling with the dust.' 

But she— she heard the violin, 
And left my side, and entered in : 
Love passed into the house of lust 

Then suddenly the tune went false. 

The dancers wearied of the waltz 

The shadows ceased to wheel and whirl. 

And down the long and silent street 
The dawn, with silver-sandalled feet, 
Crept like a frightened girL 



SM 



UNCOLLECTED POEMS 



LE JARDIN DES TUILERIES 

THIS winter air is keen and cold. 
And keen and cold this winter sun. 
But round my chair the children run 
Like little things of dancing gold. 

Sometimes about the painted kiosk 
The mimic soldiers strut and stride. 
Sometimes the blue-eyed brigands hide 

In the bleak tangles of the bosk. 

And sometimes, while the old nurse cons 
Her book, they steal across the square. 
And launch their paper navies where 

Huge Triton writhes in greenish bronze. 

And now in mimic flight they flee, 

And now they rush, a boisterous band — 
And, tiny hand on tiny hand. 

Climb up the black and leafless tree. 

Ah I cruel tree I if I were you, 
And children climbed me, for their sake 
Though it be winter I v;ouId break 

Into spring blossoms white and blue I 

25] 



POEMS 



ON THE SALE BY AUCTION OF 
KEATS' LOVE LETTERS 

THESE are the letters which Endymion 
wrote 
To one he loved in secret, and apart. 
And now the brawlers of the auction mart 
Bargain and bid for each poor blotted note, 
Ay 1 for each separate pulse of passion quote 
The merchant's price. I think they love not 

art 
Who break the crystal of a poet's heart 
That small and sickly eyes may glare and gloat. 

Is it not said that many years ago, 

In a far Eastern town, some soldiers ran 
With torches through the midnight, and 
began 

To wrangle for mean raiment, and to throw 
Dice for the gaiments of a wretched man. 

Not knowing the God's wonder, or His woe ? 



252 



UNCOLLECTED POEMS 



THE NEW REMORSE 

THE sin was mine ; I did not understand. 
So now is music prisoned in her cave, 
Save where some ebbing desultory 
wave 
Frets with its restless whirls this meagre strand. 
And in the withered hollow of this land 
Hath Summer du}( herself so deep a grave, 
That hardly can the leaden willow crave 
One silver blossom from keen Winter's hand. 
But who is this who cometh by the shore ? 
(Nay, love, look up and wonder !) Who is this 
Who cometh in dyed garments from the 
South ? 
It is thy new-found I^ord, and he shall kiss 

The yet unravished roses of thy mouth. 
And I shall weep and worship, as before. 



M 
Iff II ,1 



858 



POEMS 



FANTAISIES D^CORATIVES 



LE PANNEAU 



TNDER the rose-tree's dancing shade 



L! There stands a little ivory girl, 
^ Fulling the leaves of pink and pearl 
With pale green nails of polished jade. 



The red leaves fall upon the mould. 
The white leaves flutter, one by one, 
Down to a blue bowl where the sun, 

Like a great dragon, writhes in gold. 

The white leaves float upon the air. 
The red leaves flutter idly down. 
Some fall upon her yellow gown, 

And some upon her raven hair. 

She takes an amber lute and sings. 
And as she sings a silver crane 
Begins his scarlet neck to strain, 

And flap his burnished metal wings. 

254 



mm 



LE PANNEAU 

She takes a lute of amber bright, 
And from the thicket where he lies 
Her lover, with his almond eyes. 

Watches her movements in delight. 

And now she gives a cry of fear. 
And tiny tears begin to start : 
A thorn has wounded with its dart 

The pink-veined sea-shell of her ear. 

And now she laughs a merry note : 
There has fallen a petal of the rose 
Just where the yellow satin shows 

The blue-veined flower of her throat. 

With pale green nails of polisiied jade. 
Pulling the leaves of pink and pearl, 
There stands a little ivory girl 

Under the rose-tree's dancing shade. 



255 



i* 



/miw- 



POEMS 



LES BALLONS 

AGAINST tliase turbid turquoise skies 
^A The light and luminous balloons 
■^ -^ Dip and drift like satin moons. 
Drift like silken butterflies ; 

Reel with every windy gust, 
Rise and reel like dancing girls, 
Float like strange transparent pearls, 

Fall and float like silver dust. 

Now to the low leaves they cling. 

Each with coy fantastic pose. 

Each a petal of a rose 
Straining at a gossamer string. 

Then to the tall trees they climb. 
Like thin globes of amethyst. 
Wandering opals keeping tryst 

With the rubies of the lime. 



256 



UNCOLLECTED POEMS 



CANZONET 

I HAVE no store 
Of gryphon-jruarded gold ; 
Now, as before. 
Bare is the shepherd's fold. 

Rubies, nor pearls. 
Have I to gem thy throat; 

Yet woodland girls 
Have loved the shepherd's note. 

Then, pluck a reed 
And bid me sing to thee. 

For I would feed 
Thine ears with melody, 

Who art more fair 
Than fairest fleur-de-lys, 

More sweet and rare 
Than sweetest ambergris. 

What dost thou fear ? 
Young Hyacinth is slain. 

Pa 1 is not here. 
And will not come again. 

257 



.m^:MS!r^m^m^'^.^at 



POEMS 

No homfed Faun 
Treads down the yellow leas, 

No God at dawn 
Steals through the olive trees. 

Hylas is dead, 
Nor will h« e'er divine 

Those '.ttie red 
Rose-p'^ "iled lips of thine. 

On the high hill 
No ivory dryads play. 

Silver and still 
Sinks the sad autumn day. 



2S8 



UNCOLLECTED POEMS 



SYMPHONY IN YELLOW 

AN omnibus across the bridge 
l^L Crawls like a yellow butterfly, 
^ -^ And, here and there, a passer-by 
Shows like a little restless midge. 

Big barges full of yellow hay 
Are moved against the shadowy wharf. 
And, like a yellow silken scarf. 

The thick fog hangs along the quay. 

The yellow leaves begin to fade 
And flutter from the Temple elms. 
And at my feet the pale green Thames 

Lies like a rod of rippled jade. 



259 






POEMS 






IN THE FOREST 

OUT of the mid-wood's twilight 
Into the meadow's dawn. 
Ivory limbed and brown-eyed, 
Flashes my Faun I 

He skips through the copses singing, 
And his shadow dances along. 

And I know not which I should follow. 
Shadow or song 1 

O Hunter, saiare me his shadow I 

Nightingale, catch me his strain ! 
Else moonstruck with music and madness 

1 track him in vain 1 



260 



UNCOLLECTED POEMS 



III 



TO MY WIFE 

WITH A COPY OF MY POF.M8 



I 



CAN write no stately proem 
As a prelude to my lay ; 
From a poet to a poem 
I would dare to say. 



For if of these fallen petals 

One to you seem fair, 
Love will waft it till it setUes 

On your hair. 

And when wind and winter harden 

All the loveless land, 
It will whisper of the garden, 

You will understand. 



'1 



i 






201 



MIOOCOfY HSOWTION TBT CHAM 

(ANSI and ISO TEST CHART No. 2| 




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ISO ■■■ 


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A APPLIED IhZ/IGE Inc 

^^ 1653 Eost Wain Street 

S'd^ Rochester, N«> Yo'ti ue09 USA 

^S !^'6) *82 - OJOO - Phone 

^S (7tE) 288 ~ 5989 - Fo> 



POEMS 



WITH A COPY OF 'A HOUSE OF 
POM EGRANATES ' 

GO, little book, 
To him who, on a lute with horns of 
pearl, 
Sang of the white feet of the Golden Girl : 
And bid him look 
Into thy pages : it may hap that he 
May find that golden maidens dance through 
thee. 



283 



UNCOLLECTED POEMS 



PAN 



O GOAT-FOOT God of Arcady I 
This modem world is grey and 
old, 
And what remains to us of thee? 

No more the shepherd lads in glee 

Throw apples at thy wattled fold, 
O goat-foot God of Arcady I 

Nor through the laurels can one see 

Thy soft brown limbs, thy beard of gold. 
And what remains to us of thee? 

And dull and dead our Thames would be, 

For here the winds are chill and cold, 
O goat-foot God of Arcady! 

Then keep the tomb of Helic£, 

Thine olive-woods, thy vine-dad wold. 
And what remains to us of thee? 

Though many an unsung elegy 

Sleeps in the reeds our rivers hold, 
O goat-foot Gk)d of Arcady I 
Ah, what remains to us of thee? 

208 



POEMS 

II 

Ah, leave the hills of Arcady, 

Thy satyrs and their wanton play, 
This modem world hath need of thee. 

No nymph or Faun indeed have we, 

For Faun and nymph are old and grey. 
Ah, leave the hills of Arcady I 

This is the land where liberty 

Lit grave-browed Milton on his way. 
This modem world hath need of thee! 



, 



A land of ancient chivalry 

Where gentle Sidney saw the day. 
Ah, leave the hills of Arcady 1 



This fierce sea-lion of the sea, 

This England lacks some stronger lay, 
This modem world hath need of thee! 

Then blow some trumpet loud and free. 

And give thine oaten pipe away. 
Ah, leave the hills of Arcady! 
This modem world hath need of thee! 






264 



TO L. L. 

COULD we dig up this long-buried 
treasure, 
Were it worth the pleasure, 
We never could learn love's song, 
We are parted too long. 

Could the passionate past that is fled 

Call back its dead, 
Could we live it all over again. 

Were it worth the pain ! 

I remember we used t>. leet 

By an ivied seat, 
And you warbled each pretty word 

With the air of a bird; 

And your voice had a quaver in it, 

Just like a linnet, 
And shook, as the blackbird's throat 

With its last big note; 

And your eyes, they wei« green and grey 

Like an April day. 
But lit into amethyst 

When I stooped and kissed ; 

265 



i 



if L 



',"1 



M 



POEMS 

And your mouth, it would never smile 

For a long, long while, 
Then it rippled all over with laughter 

Five minutes after. 

You were always afraid of s shower. 

Just like a flower : 
I remember you started and ran 

When the rain began. 

I remember I never could catch you, 
For no one could match you, 

You had wonderful, luminous, fleet. 
Little wings to your feet 

1 remember your hair — did I tie it ? 

For it always ran • lot — 
Like a tangled sunbeam of gold : 

These things are old. 

I remember so well the room. 

And the lilac bloom 
That beat at the dripping pane 

In the warm June rain ; 



And the colour of your gown. 
It was amber-brown. 

And two yellow satin bows 
From your shoulders rose. 

266 



■t 



TO L. L. 

And the handkerchief of French lace 
Which you held to your face 

Had a small tear left a stain f 
Or was it the rain ? 

On your hand as it waved adieu 

There were veins of blue; 
In your voice as it said good-bye 

Was a petulant cry, 

' You have only wasted your life.' 

(Ah, that was the knife 1) 
When I rushed through the garden gate 

It was all too late. 

Could we live it over again. 

Were it worth the pain. 
Could the passionate past that is fled 

Call back its dead ! 

Well, if my heart must break. 

Dear love, for your sake, 
It will break in music, I know. 

Poets' hearts break so. 

But strange that I was not told 

That the brain can hold 
In a tiny ivory cell 

God's heaven and helL 

2C7 



( 



I, 



i 






POEMS 



DESESPOIR 



THE seasons send their ruin as they go. 
For in the spring the narciss shows its 
head 
Nor withers till the rose has flamed to red. 
And in the autumn purple violets blow. 
And the slim crocus stirs the winter snow; 
Wherefore yon leafless trees will bloom again 
And this grey land grow green with summer 
rain 
And send up cowslips for some boy to mow. 
But what of life whosf> bitter hungry sea 

Flows at our heels, and gloom of sunless night 
Covers the days which never more return? 
Ambition, love and all the thoughts that bum 
We lose too soon, and only find delight 
In withered husks of some dead memory. 



its 



lit 



TRANSLATIONS 



r 



>ti 



> 



I 






:M' 






CHORUS OF CLOUD MAIDENS 

('Apurnimnn N'.^Aai, S7S-S90, 898 SIS.) 
JTPO*H 

CLOUD MAIDENS that float on 
for ever, 

Dew-sprinkled, fleet bodies, and 
fair. 
Let us rise from our Sire's loud river 
Great Ocean, and soar throuKh the air 
To the peak, of the pine-covered' inounUins 
"'here the pines hang as tresses of hair. 
WK '" l*"" watch-towers undaunted, 
abound '^ *e"->^«tered corn-fields 

A A .J^^ "'?"*'"' °^ *''*' sea-waves resound • 
And the sun m the sky never wearies of spread- 
ing Ins radiance around. 
Let us cast off the haze 

Of the mists from our band, 
Till with far-seeing gaze 
We may look on the land. 



11 



271 



POEMS 



ANTlSTPO*H 
Cloud maidens that bring the rain-shower. 

To the I'ailas- loved land let us wing, 
To the land of stout heroes and Power, 

Where Kekrops was hero and king, 
Where honour and silence is given 

To the mysteries that none may declare. 
Where are gifts to the high gods in heaven 

When the house of the gmls is laid bare, 
Where are lofty roofed temples, and statues 
well carven and fair ; 

Where are feasts to the happy immortals 
When the sacred procession draws near. 

Where garlands make bright the bright 
portals 
At all seasons and months in the year ; 

And when spring days are here. 
Then we tread to the wine-god a measure, 

In Bacchanal dance and in pleasure, 
'Mid the contests of sweet singing choirs. 

And the crash of loud lyres. 



272 



ePHNnuiA 



« HNniAIA 

(Ettr. Hte., 44t.4SS) 

Sonj mnp I y captive women of Tro, ou the tea bM.k .. 
AulU, whllL tbe Achmiu were ther, ..™^», i j . ' 
<h. .»>!. * ji 1. ^^ , "*"* *""* itorm-bound through 
1.L . u^ dithonoured Achille., „d waitin, for , fS 
wind to bring them home. * ™' 



:fe 



2T 0<I)H 

OFAIR win„ oiox. ing from the sea I 
Who through the dark and mist 
dost guide 
The ships that on the billowsi ie 
Unto what land, ah, misery I 
Shall I be borne, across what stormy wave. 
Or to whose house a purchased slave J 

O sea-wind blowing fair and fast 
Is If unto the Dorian strand, 
Or to those far and fable shores. 
Where great Apidanus outpours 
His streams upon the fertile land 
Or shall I tread the Phthian sand 
Borne by the swift breath of the blast ? 
' 278 



ifc^ 



POEMS 



}!\ 



H.M 

u 

III' 



I, ' 1 

I' 



ANTETPO*H 

O blowing wind I you bring my sorrow near. 
For surely borne with splashing of the oar. 
And hidden in some galley-prison drear 
I shall be led unto that distant shore 
Where the tall palm-tree first took root, 

and made. 
With clustering laurel leaves, a pleasant 
shade 
For Leto when with travail great she bore 
A god and goddess in Love's bitter fight, 
Her body's anguish, and her soul's delight 

It may be in Delos, 

Encircled of seas, 
I shall sing with some maids 

From the Cyclades, 
Of Artemis goddess 

And queen and maiden. 
Sing of the gold 

In her hair heavy-laden. 
Sing of her hunting, 

Her arrows and bow. 
And in singing find solace 

From weeping and woe. 



274 






i4i 



»PHNIiUIA 



2TPO*H B 
Or it may be my bitter doom 
To stand a handmaid at the loom. 
In distant Athens of supreme renown ; 
And weave some wondrous tapestry, 
Or work in bright embroidery, 
Upon the crocus-flowered robe and saffron- 
coloured gown. 
The flying horses wrought in gold, 
1 he silver chariot onward rolled 
1 hat bears Athena through the Town • 
Or the warring giants that strove to 'climb 
From earth to heaven to reign as kings. 
And iSeus the conquering son of Time 

A A ?K T u" *.''*' h^^cone's eagle wings ; 
And the hghtnmg flame and the bolts thai fell 

AnnT f^%T" ^'?'' '* ^^^ g"'''" behest. 
And hur ed the rebels to darkness of hell. 

To a sleep without slumber or waking or rest 



ANTI2TPO*H B 

Alas I our children's sorrow, and their pain 

In slavery. 
Alas i our warrior sires nobly slain 

For liberty. 

275 



POEMS 

Alas I our country's glory, and the name 
Of Troy's fair town ; 

By the lances and tne fighting and the flame 
Tall Troy is down. 



n 



\i i 



I shall pass with my soul over-laden. 

To a land far away and unseen. 
For Asia is slave and handnnaiden, 

Europa is Mistress and Queen. 
Without love, or love's holiest treasure, 

I shall pass into Hades abhorred. 
To the grave as my chamber of pleasure. 

To death as my Lover and Lord. 



«7« 



d 



TRANSLATIONS 



V 



A FRAGMENT FROM THE 
AGAMEMNON OF ^SCHYLOS 

(Linn 1 140-1 173) 

[The Kene 1. the court-y.rd of the Pid.ce .t A«oc 

Clytemne.t» h« followed clo« on hi. heel.. C««,i„ i. 

.nd the burden of prophecy lie he.vy upon her; terrible 
..Km »d vi.io„, greet her .ppro«h. She"^. bl,^ „ "^ 

from the door The gho.t. of the murdered children come 
to mourn with her. Her «co„d .ight pierce. thTp^J^ 
wall. ; .he .ee. the f.t.l b.th, the tr.mmelling net. .ndtiS^ 
«e .h.rpened for her own rain «,d her lord". 

But not eren in the hour of her U.t ««u«h i> AdoUo 
merciful; her warning, .re unheeded, herTophe«c «^ 
Mce. made mock of. F"="= mm- 

The orche.tr. i. filled with . choru. of old men wfk 
fiH,l.,h, irre.oh.te. They do not believe the weird :Lr^f 
mytenr t.11 the hour for help i. p..t, „d the cry 7tZ 
memnon echoe. from the hou^Voh mel I ^ 'LZ^ 
with ..troke of death.'] .mciten 

CHORUS 

THY prophecies are but a lying tale, 
For cruel gods have brought thee to 
this state. 
And of thyself and thine own wretched fate 

277 



r-^H 



POEMS 

Sing you this song and tliese unhallowed lays. 
Like the brown bird of grief insatiate 

Crying for sorrow of its dreary days ; 

Crying for Itys, Itys, in the vale — 
The nightingale ! The nightingale ! 



CASSANDRA 

Yet I would that to me they had given 

The fate of that singer so clear. 
Fleet wings to fly up unto heaven. 

Away from all mourning and fear; 

For ruin and sl/irighter await me — ^the cleav- 
ing with sword and the spear. 



n 



h 



/i 



CHORUS 

Whence come these crowding fancies on thy 
brain. 
Sent by some god it may be, yet for naught? 
Why dost thou sing with evil-tongued refrain. 
Moulding thy terrors to this hideous strain 
With shrill, sad cries, as if by ueath dis- 
traught ? 
Why dost thou tread that path of prophecy. 
Where, upon either hand, 
Landmarks for ever stand 
With horrid legend for all men to see t 
278 



r I 



A FRAGMENT 



CASSANDRA 
O bitter bridegroom who didst bear 

Rum to those that loved thee true I 
O holy stream Scamander, where 

With gentle nurturement I grew 

In the first days, when life and love were new. 

"^ T^ *r7Tl "T-'* *•*"" *"t I must lie 
In the dark land that never sees the sun : 

bing my sad songs of fruitless prophecy 
By the black stream Cokytos that doth run 
Through long. low hills of dreary Acheron 



'm 



CHORUS 

Ah, but thy word is clear I 
Even a child among men. 
Even a child might see 
What is lying hidden here. 
Ah ! I am smitten deep 
To the heart with a deadly blow 
At the evil fate of the maid, 
A I the cry of her song of woe I 
Sorrows for her to bear 1 
Wonders for me to hear! 

279 



POEMS 



II 



CASSANDRA 

O my poor land laid waste with flame and fire I 
O ruined city overthrown by fate 1 

Ah, what availed the offerings of my Sire 
To keep the foreign foemen from the gate I 

Ah, what availed the herds of pasturing kine 

To save my country from the wrath divine 1 

Ah, neither prayer nor priest avails aught. 
Nor the strong captains that so stoutly fought. 
For the tall town lies desolate and low. 

And I, the singer of this song of woe, 
Know, by the fire burning in my brain. 
That Death, the healer of all earthly pain. 

Is close at hand 1 I will not shirk the blow. 



fiSi 



280 



TRANSLATIONS 



SEN ARTYSTY; OR, THE 
ARTISTS DREAM 

FROM THE POLISH OF MADAME HELENA MODJESKA 

I TOO have had my dreams: ay, known 
indeed 

The crowded visions of a fiery youth 
VVhieli haunt me still. 

,„. , . Methought that once I lay 

Within some garden close, what time the Spring 
Breaks like a bird from Winter, and tlie sky 
Is sapphire-vaulted. The pure air was soft. 
And tlie deep grass I lay on soft as air. 
The strange and secret life of the young trees 
Swelled in the green and tender bark, or burst 
To buds of sheathM emerald; violets 
Peered from their nooks of hiding, half afraid 
Of their own loveliness; the vermeil rose 
Opened its heart, and the bright sUr-flower 
Shone like a star of morning. Butterflies, 
In painted liveries of brown and gold. 
Took the shy bluebells as their pavilions 
And seats of pleasaunce ; overhead a bird 

281 



hi 

n 



h 



f 



POEMS 
Made snow of all the blossoms as it flew 
To charm the woods with singing: the whole 

world 
Seemed waking to delight I 

And yet — and yet — 
My soul was filled with leaden heaviness : 
I had no joy in Nature ; what to me, 
Ambition's slave, was crimson-stained rose 
Or the gold-sceptred crocus ? The bright bird 
Sang out of tune for me, and the sweet flowers 
Seemed but a pageant, and an unreal show 
That mocked mv heart ; for, like the fabled snak^ 
That stings itself to anguish, so I lay 
Self-tortured, self-tormented. 

The day crept 
Unheeded on the dial till the sun 
Dropt, purple-sailed, into the gorgeous East, 
When, from the fiery heart of that great orb. 
Came One whose shape of beauty far outshone 
The most bright vision of this common earth. 
Girt was she in a robe more white than flame 
Or furnace-heated brass ; upon her head 
She bare a laurel crown, and, like a star 
That falls from the high heaven suddenly, 
Passed to my side. 

Then kneeling low, I cried 
• O much-desired 1 O long-waited for 1 
Immortal Glory I Great world-conqueror I 
Oil, let me not die crownless ; once, at least, 
282 



SEN ARTYSTY 

Let thine impeml laurels bind my browi. 

Ignoble else. Once let the clarion note 

And trump of loud ambition sound my name. 

And for the rest 1 care not.' 

T„ ., Then to me, 

.^1??!? * ''°""'' ^^^ '"'8^^ """le reply : 
Ch. d. Ignorant of the true happiness. 

For li "h7'"5 1'^"'" ^' ^''"^°'"' t*'^" '^ert made 
for light and love and laughter, not to waste 
1 hy youth m shooting arrows at the sun. 
Ornurtunng that ambition in thy soul 
Whose deadly poison will infect thy heart. 
Marnng all joy and gladn«ss ! Tarry here 
In the sweet confines of this garden-close 
Whose level meads and glades delectable 
Invite for pleasure; the wild bird that wakes 
These silent dells with sudden melody 

bWs**"^ P'^yn'te; and each flower that 
Shall twine itself unbidden in thy hair- 
Garland more meet for thee than the dread 

weight 
Of Glory's laurel wreath." 

T -. • J . ,. ' Ah I fruitless gifls,' 

I cried, unheeding of her prudent word 
•Are all such mortal flowers, whose brief lives 
Are bounded by the dawn and setting sun. 
The anger of the noon can wound the rose. 
And the rain rob the crocus of its gold : 

288 






\l 



' 



:1 

'! 
I'fl 



POEMS 

But thine immortal coronal of Fame, 
Thy crown of deathless laurel, this alone 
Age cannot harm, nor winter's icy tooth 
Pierce to its hurt, nor common things profane.' 
No answer made the angel, but her face 
Dimmed with the mists of pity. 

Then methought 
That from mine eyes, wherein ambition's torch 
Burned with its latest and most ardent flame, 
Flasht-d forth two level beams of straitened 

light. 
Beneath whose Ailgent fires the laurel crown 
Twisted and curled, as when the Sirian star 
Withers the ripening com, and one pale leaf 
Fell on my brow ; and I leapt up iind felt 
The nighty pulse of Fame, and heard far off 
The sound of many nations praising me I 

>e fiery-coloured moment of great life I 
And then — how barren was the nations' praise ! 
How vain the trump of Glory 1 Bitter thorns 
Were in that laurel leaf, whose toothM barbs 
Burned and bit deep till fire and red flame 
Seemed to feed full upon my brain, and make 
The garden a bare desert 

With wild hands 

1 strove to tear it from my bleeding brow. 
But all in vain ; and with a dolorous cry 

That paled the lingering stars before their time, 
284 



SEN ARTYSTY 

I waked .t 1.8t, .nd uw the tlmoroui dawn 

And would h.ve deemed it . mere idle^m 
But for this restless pain that gnaws my W 
And the mi wound, of thom. upon my b™^ 



4" 



«' 



285 



THE SPHINX 



•» maxMiiir 
«" aihiiiutim; 



! 



I 



THE SPHINX U the eopgright of 
Mr. John Lane, Ay wkon courla^ 
UUauhulidin lUt editim. 



I 



THE SPHINX 

N a dim comer of my room for lonirer than 
my fancy thinks ngeruian 

me through the sliifting gloom. 

'"^ltn:t's;r"'"^^''^'^--°*-^»'e 

Red foUows grey across the air the waves of 
moonhght ebb and flow 

^"* It?" °?° "''" "^""^ "°* «« ">d in the 
night-time she is there, 

°Tiuh: whiuT ""' '''«''*'' ^^ °'«^ -d 

an tne while this cunous cat 
Lies couching on the Chinese mat with eyes of 
satin rimmed with gold. ^ 

Upon the mat she lies and leers and on the 

tawny throat of her 
Flutters the soft and sUky fur or ripples to her 

pointed ears. ^^ " 

289 



IIJ 



1 



POEMS 

Come forth, my lovely seneschal ! so somnolent, 

so statuesque I 
Come forth you exquisite grotesque! half 

woman and half animal ! 

Come forth my lovely languorous Sphinx 1 and 

put your head upon my knee 1 
And let me stroke your throat and see your 

body spotted like the Lynx 1 

And let me touch those curving claws of yellow 

ivory and grasp 
The tail that like a monstrous Asp coils round 

your heavy velvet paws I 



290 



THE SPHINX 



A THOUSAND we«y centuries a« thine 
while I have hardly seen 
Some twenty summers cast their green 
for Autumn's gaudy liveries. 

And did you watch the EirvDtian m^lt K- • 
for Antony '^SYV^m melt her umon 

^"'her'Sad*'' •'*r'-''"">''en wine and bend 
ner head m -imic awe 

291 



i, 



t> 



POEMS 

And did you talk with Thoth, and did you hear 

the moon- homed lo weep ? 
And know the painted kings who sleep beneath 

the wedge-shaped Pyramid ? 



fM 



THE SPHINX 



i'ii 



E 



IFT up your large black satin eyes which 
are like cushions where one sinks ! 
Fawn at my feet, fantastic Sphinx 1 and 
sing me all your memories ! 

Sing to me of the Jewish maid who wandered 

with the Holy Child, 
And how you led them through the wild, and 

how they slept beneath your shade. 

Sing to me of that odorous green eve when 

couchmg by the marge 
You heard from Adrians gilded barge the 

laughter of Antinous k « 

And lapped the stream and fed your drouth and 
watched with hot and hungry store 

The ivory body of that rare young slave with 
his pomegranate mouth I 

Sing to me of the Labyrinth in which the twi- 

formed bull was stalled ! 
Sing to me of the night you crawled across the 

temple s granite plinth 

298 



if 

1 



POEMS 

When tfuougL uie purple corridors the scream- 
ing scarlet Ibis flew 

In terror, and a horrid dew dripped from the 
moaning Mandragores, 

And the great torpid crocodile within the tank 

shed sUmy tears, 
And tare the jewels from his ears and staggered 

back into the Nile, 

And the priests cursed you with shrill psalms as 
in your claws you seized their snake 

And crept away with it to slake your passion by 
the shuddering palms. 



294 



THE SPHINX 



w 



HO were your lovers? who were they 
who wrestled for you in the dust ? 

i^t.V' ^^^ ^^''^^ °*' y^'^r Lust? 
What Leman had you. every day ? 

Did pant Lizards come and crouch before you 

on the reedy banks ? 
Did Gryphons with great metal flanks leap on 

you m your trampled couch ? 

Did monstrous hippopotami come sidling toward 
you m the mist ? * 

Did gUt-scaled dragons writhe and twist with 
passion as you passed them by ? 

With feariul heads and fearful flame to breed 
new wonders from your womb ? 



■A 



S95 



II 



POEMS 



o 



R had you shameful secret quests and did 
you harry to your home 
Some Nereid coiled in amber foam 
with curious rock crystal breasts ? 



Or did you treading through the froth call to 
the brown Sidonian 

For tidings of Leviathan, Leviathan or Be- 
hemoth ? 

Or did you when the sun was set climb up the 

cactus-covered slope 
To meet your swarthy Etiiiop whose body was 

cf polished jet ? 

Or did you while the earthen skiffs dropped 

down the grey Nilotic flats 
At twilight and the flickering bats flew round 

the temple's triple glyphs 

Steal to the border of the b^r and swim across 

the silent lake 
And slink into the vault and make the Pyramid 

your Itipanar 

296 



THE SPHINX 

•nil from each black sarcophagus rose up the 

painted swathed dead ? 
Or did you lure unto your bed the ivory-homed 

Tragelaphos ? 

Or did you love the god of flies who plagued 

the Hebrews and was splashed 
With wine unto the waist ? or Pasht, who had 

green beryls for her eyes ? 

Or that young god. the Tyrian. who was more 

amorous than the dove 
Of Ashtaroth ? or did you love the god of the 

Assyrian 

Whose wings, like strange transparent talc, rose 

higli above his hawk-faced head 
Painted with silver and with red and ribbed with 

rodsofOreichalch? 

Or did huge Apis from his car leap down and 

lay before your feet 
Big blossoms of the honey-sweet and honev- 

coloured nenuphar ? 



297 



I mil 



I>U£MS 



H 



OW lubtle-secret ia your smile t Did 
you love none then ? Nay, I know 
Great Ammon was your bedfellow I 
He lay with you beside the Nile 1 



The river-horses in the slime trumpeted when 

they saw him come 
Odorous with Syrian galbanum and smeared 

with spikenard and with thyme. 

He came along the river bank like some tall 

galley argent-sailed. 
He strode across the waters, mailed in beauty, 

and the waters sank. 

He strode across the desert sand: he reached 

the valley where you lay : 
He waited till the dawn of day : then tcached 

your black breasts with his hand. 

lou kissed his mouth with mouths of flame: 
you made the horned god your own : 

You stood behind him on his throne : you called 
him by his secret name. 
298 



THE SPHINX 

You whispered monstrous oredes into the 

caverns of his ears : 
With blood of goats and blood of steers you 

taught him monstrous miracles. 

White Ammon was your bedfellow I Your 
chamber was the steaming Nile I 

And with your curved archaic smile you watched 
hjs passion come and go. 






299 



-371 



POEMS 



w 



ITH Syrian oilt his brows were briglit: 
and wide-spread as a tent at noon 

His marble limbs made pale the moon 
and lent the day a larger light. 

His long hair was nine cubits' span and coloured 

like that yellow gem 
Which hidden in their garment's hem the 

merchants bring from Kurdistan. 

His face was as the must that lies upon a vat of 

new-made wine : 
The seas could not insapphirine the perfect azure 

of his eyes. 

His thick soft throat was white as milk and 
threaded with the veins of blue : 

And curious pearls like frozen dew were 
broidered on his flowing silk. 



800 



THE SPHINX 



O 



N pcftrl uid porphyry pedestalled he wm 
too bright to look upon : 
For on his ivory breast there shone the 
wondrous ocean-emerald, 

That mystic moonlit jewel which some diver of 

the Colchian caves 
Had found beneath the blackening waves and 

carried to the Colchian witch. 

Before his gilded galiot ran naked vine-wreathed 
cory bants, 

And lines of swaying elephants knelt down to 
draw hiii chariot. 

And lines of swarthy Nubians bare up his litter 
as he rode 

Down the great granite-paven road between the 
nodding peacock-fans. 

The merchants brought him steatite from Sidon 

in their painted rhips : 
The meanest cup that touched his lips wag 

fashioned from a chrysolite. 

SI 



POEMS 

The merchants brought him cedar chests of rich 

apparel bound with cords : 
His train was borne by Memphian lords : young 

kings were glad to be his guests. 

Ten hundred shaven priests did bow to Ammon's 

altar day and night, 
Ten hundred lamps did wave their light through 

Ammon's carven house — and now 

Foul snake and speckled adder with their young 

ones crawl from stone to stone 
For ruined is the house and prone the great 

rose-marble monolith 1 

Wild ass or trotting jackal comes and couches 

in the mouldering gates : 
Wild satyrs call unto their mates across the 

fallen fluted drums. 

And on the summit of the pile the blue-faced 

ape of Horus sits 
And gibbers while the fig-tree splits the pUlars 
of the peristyle. 



803 



THE SPHINX 



1 



iP'^HF- g(d is scattered here and there: 
Jeep hidden in the windy sand 
/ saw his giant granite hand still 
clenched in impotent despair. 

And many a wandering caravan of stately 

negroes silken-shawled, 
Crossing the desert, halts appalled before the 

neck that none can span. 

And many a bearded Bedouin draws back his 

yellow-striped burnous 
To gaze upon the TiUn thews of him who was 

thy paladin. 



if 
1 



808 



G 



POEMS 



O, seek his fragments on the moor and 
wash them in the evening dew, 
And from their pieces make anew thy 
mutilated paramour ! 



Go, seek them where they lie alone and from 

their broken pieces make 
Thy bruised bedfellow ! And wake mad passions 

in the senseless stone 1 

Charm his dull ear with Syrian hymns I he loved 

your body 1 oh, be kind. 
Pour spikjnard on his hair, and wind soft rolls 

of linen round his limbs I 

Wind round his head the figured coins 1 stain 
with red fruits those pallid lips 1 

Weave purple for his shrunken hips ! and purple 
for his barren loins 1 



S04 



THE SPHINX 



A" 



^WAYtoE^pt! Have no fear. Only 
one God has ever died 
Only one God has let His side be 
wounded by a soldier's spear. 

But these, thy lovers, are not dead. Still by 
the hundred-cubit gate 

'"^trnstisit?e?:f^^^-"*^^~ 

Across the empty land, and cries each yellow 
morning unto thee. ^ 

And Nilus with his broken horn lies in his 
black and oozy bed 

"^"^nlh^ T'"*^ ^'" "°* ^P'^««* Ws waters 
on the withermg com. 

Your lovers are not dead, I know. They will 

nse up and hear your voice 
And clash their cymbals and rejoice and run to 

kiss your mouth 1 And so, 

u 

805 



POEMS 

Set wings upon your argosies! Set horses to 

your ebon car 1 
Back to your Nile! Or if you are grown sick 

of dead divinities 

Follow some roving lion's spoor across the 

copper-coloured plain, 
Reach out and hale him by the mane and bid 

him be your paramour I 

Couch by his side upon the grass and set your 

white teeth in his throat 
And when you hear his dying note lash your 

long flanks of polished brass 

And take a tiger for your mate, whose amber 

sides are flecked with black. 
And ride upon his gilded back in triumph 

through the Theban gate. 

And toy with him in amorous jests, and when 

he turns, and snarls, and gnaws, 
O smite him with your jasper claws ! and bruise 

him with your agate breasts 1 



806 



THE SPHINX 



w 



■HYareyoutenying? Get hence I I 
weary of your sullen ways, 

Your pulse makes poisonous melodieo PnJ 

black throat is like the h^ ' ' "'^ ^""^ 

t^JeTS^"''' "''"--« -"^ on Saracenic 

^^^it°i;i'::i^-^--eii.hthe. 

807 



11 



POEMS 

See, the dawn shivers round the grey gilt-dialled 

towers, and the rain 
Streams down each diamonded pane and blurs 

with tears the wannish day. 

What snake-tressed fury fresh from Hell, with 

uncouth gestures and unclean. 
Stole from the poppy-drowsy queen and led 

you to a student's cell ? 



808 



THE SPHINX 



WHAT scngless tongueless ghost of sin 
crept through the curtains of the 
night, 

And saw my taper burning bright, and knocked, 
and bade you enter in. 

Are there not others more accursed, whiter with 

leprosies than I ? 
Are A'oana and Pharphar dry that you come 

here to slake your thirst ? 

Get hence, you loathsome mystery I Hideous 
animal, get hence 1 "'"cous 

You wake in me each bestial sense, you make 
me what I would not be. 

You make my creed a barren sham, you wake 

toul dreams of sensual life. 
And Atys with his blood-stained knife were 

better than the thing I am. 

False Sphinx! False Sphinx 1 By reedy Styx 

old Charon, leaning on his oar, 
Waits for my coin. Go thou before, and leave 

me to my uucifix, 

809 



POEMS 

Whose pallid burden, sick *ith p^'n. watches 

the world with wearied eyes, 
And weeps for every soul that dies, and weeps 

for every soul in vain. *^ 



810 



!he> 
:ep8 



THE BALLAD OF READING GAOL 



Iir MUfORIAH 

C. T. W. 

""""" "~'" <" ™« "OVAt „„»„ o„,,„ 

""•^^ 7. 1896 



i 



THE BALLAD OF READING GAOL 



HE did not wew his scarlet co»t. 
For blood and wine are red 

H hen they found him with the dead. 
Ihe poor dead woman who.n he loved 
And murdered in her bed. 

He walked wiongst the Trial Men 

In a suit of shabby gray ; 
A cricket cap was on his ht'iid, 

And his step seemed light and gay; 
But I never saw a man who looked 

80 wistfully at the day. 

I never saw a man who looked 

With such a wistful eye 
Upon that little tent of blue 

Which prisoners call the sky 

wl''''^'"^ ^"^'""e '^'«"'J that went 
With sails of silver by. 

81A 



POEMS 

I walked, with other souls in pain, 

Within another ring. 
And was wondering if the man had done 

A great or little thing, 
When a voice behind me whispered low, 

' Thai fellow 's got to swing.' 

Dear Christ ! the very prison walls 

Suddenly seemed to reel. 
And the sky above my head became 

Like a casque of scorching steel ; 
And, though I was a soul in pain. 

My pain I could not feel. 

I only knew what hunted thought 

Quickened his step, and why 
He looked upon the garish day 

With such a wistful eye ; 
The man had killed the thing he loved, 

And so he had to die. 



Yet each man kills the thing he loves. 

By each let this be heard. 
Some do it with a bitter look. 

Some with a flattering word. 
The coward does it with a kiss. 

The brave man with a sword 1 
816 



THE BALLAD OF READING GAOL 

Some kill their love when they are youn^ 
And some when they are old ^ *' 

Some st-,ngle with the hands of Lust 

Th.T'7'"' the hands of Gold . ' 

^'?.\'""'*«'^5»^«« knife, because 
ihe dead so soon grow cold. 

Some love too little, some too lon^ 
Some seU, and others buy ^' 

Some do the deed with man; tears 
And some without a si.rh • 

For each man kills the thing he loves 
Yet each man does not die. 

On a day of dark disgrace, 

Nor have a noose about his neck. 

Nor a cloth upon his face. 
Nor drop feet foremost through the floor 

Into an empty space. 

' * ' • 

He does not sit with silent men 

M. ho watch him night and day • 

"^i^/^t^h him when he tries tJ 'weep 
And when he tries to pray; ^' 

mo watch him lest himself should rob 
The prison of its prey. 

817 



POEMS 

He does not wake at dawn to see 

Dread figures throng his room. 
The shivering Chaplain robed in white. 

The Sheriff stem with gloom. 
And the Governor all in shiny black. 

With the yellow face of Doom. 

He does not rise in piteous haste 

To put on convict-clothes, 
While some coarse-mouthed Doctor gloats, and 
notes 

Each new and nerve-twitched pose. 
Fingering a watch whose little ticks 

Are like horrible hammer-blows. 

He does not know that sickening thirst 

That sands one's throat, before 
The hangman with his gardener's gloves 

Slips through the padded door. 
And binds one with three leathern thongs. 

That the throat may thirst no more. 



He does not bend his head to hear 

The Burial Office read. 
Nor, while the terror of h: soul 

Tells him he is not dead. 
Cross his own coffin, as he moves 

Into the hideous shed. 
818 



THE BALLAD OF READING GAOL 
He does not stare upon the air 

Through a little roof of glass : 
He does not pray with lips of clay 

* or his agony to pass; 
Nor feel upon his shuddering cheek 

The kiss of Caiap! as. 



M 



819 



POEMS 



n 



SIX wee' z our guardsman walked the yard. 
In the suit of shabby grey : 
His cricket cap was on his head. 
And his step seemed light and gay. 
But I never saw a man who looked 
So wistfully at the day. 



I never saw a man who looked 

With such a wistful eye 
Upon that little tent of blue 

Which prisoners call the sky. 
And at every wandering cloud that trailed 

Its ravelled fleeces by. 



He did not wring his hands, as do 
Those witless men ^vho dare 

To try to rear the changeling Hope 
In the cave of black Despair : 

He only looked upon the sun. 
And drank the morning air. 
820 



THE BALLAD OF READING GAOL 

He did not wring his hands nor weep. 

Nor did he peek or pine. ^ 

But he drank the air as though it held 

Some healthful anodyne • 
W ;th open mouth he drank the sun 

As though it had been wine I 

Who tramped the other ring 
forgot if we ourselves had done 

A great or little thing, 
And watched with gaze of dull amaze 

ine man who had to swing. 

And strange it was to see him pass 

With a step so light and gay, 
And strange it was to see him look 

S>o wistfully at the day. 
And strange it was to think that he 

Had such a debt to pay. 



For oak and elm have pleasant leaves 

1 hat in the spring-time shoot : 
But grim to see is the gallows-tree. 

With Its adder-bitten root. 
And green or dry, a man must die 
Before it bears its fruit 1 



821 



POEMS 

The loftiest place is that seat of grace 
For which all worldlings try : 

But who would sUnd in hempen band 
Upon a scaffold high. 

And through a murderer's collar take 
His last look at the sky f 

It is sweet to dance to violins 
When Love and Life are fair : 

To dance to flutes, to dance to lutes 
Is delicate and rare : 

But it is not s,weet with nimble feet 
To dance upon the air I 

So with curious eyes and sick surmise 
We watched him day by day. 

And wondered if each one of us' 
Would end the self-same way. 

For none can tell to what red Hell 
His sightless soul may stray. 



At last the dead man walked no more 

Amongst the Trial Men, 
And I knew that he was standing up 

In the black dock's dreadful pen. 
And that never would I see his face 

In God's sweet world again. 
822 



THE BALLAD OF READING GAOL 

Lik« two doomed ships th.t pass in storm 
We had crossed each other's way • 

But we made no sign, we said no word. 
We had no word to say • 

For we did not meet in the holy night. 
But in the shameful day. 

A prison wall was round us both, 

I wo outcast men we were • 
The world had thrust us from its heart. 

And God from out His care : 
And the iron gin that waits for Sin 

Had caught us in its snare. 



8S8 



POEMS 



III 



IN Debtors' Yard the stones are hard. 
And the dripping wall is high. 
So it was there he took the air 
Beneath the leaden sky, 
And by each side a Warder walked. 
For fear the man might die 

Or else he sat with those who watched 

His anguish night and day ; 
Who watched him when he rose to weep, 

And fhen he crouched to pray ; 
Who watched him lest himself should rob 

Their scaffold of its prey. 



The Governor was strong upon 

The Regulations Act : 
The Doctor said that Death was but 

A scientific fact : 
And twice a day the Chaplain called. 

And left a little tract 

824 



THE BALLAD OF READING GAOL 

And twice a day he smoked his pipe. 

And drank his quart of beer : 
His soul was resolute, and held 

No hidinjr-place for fear; 
He often said that he was glad 

The hangman's hands were near. 

But why he said so strange a thing 

No Warder dared to ask : 
For he to whom a watcher's doom 

Is given as his task, 
Must set a lock upon his lips. 

And make his face a mask. 

Or else he might be moved, and try 

To comfort or console : 
And what should Human Pity do 

Pent up in Murderers' Hole ? 
What word of grace in such a place 

Could help a brother's soul ? 



With slouch and swing around the ring 
We trod the Fools' Parade ! 

We did not care : we knew we were 
The Devil's Own Brigade : 

And shaven head and feet of lead 
Make a merry masquerade. 

825 



POEMS 

We tore the Uny rope to shreds 

With blunt and bleeding nails; 
We rubbed the doors, and scrubbed the floors. 

And cleaned the shining rails : 
And, rank by rank, we soaped the pUnk, 

And clattered with the pails. 

We sewed the sacks, we broke the stones. 

We turned the dusty drill : 
We banged the tins, and bawled the hymns. 

And sweated on the mill : 
But in the heart of every man 

Terror was lying still. 

So still it lay that every day 
Crawled like a weed-clogged wave : 

And we forgot the bitter lot 
That waits for fool and kr : 'e, 

Till once, as we tramped in oni work, 
We passed an open gravo. 

With yawning mouth the yellow hole 

Gaped for a living thing ; 
The very mud cried out for blood 

To the thirsty asphalte ring : 
And we knew that ere one dawn grew fair 

Some prisoner had to swine. 
826 " 



THE BALLAD OF READING GAOL 

Right in we went, with soul intent 
On Death uid Dread and Doom : 

The hangman, with his little bag. 
Went shuffling throiiRh the gloom : 

And each man trembled as he crept 
Into his numbered tomb. 



That night the empty corridors 

Were full of forms of Fear, 
And up and down the iron town 

Stole feet we could not hear, 
And through the bars that hide the stars 

White faces seemed to peer. 

He lay as one who lies and dreams 

In a pleasant meadow-land. 
The watchers watched him as he slept. 

And could not undersUnd 
'^w*'"* <=o"W sleep so sweet a sleep 

With a hangman close at hand. 

But there is no sleep when men must weep 

Who never yet have wept : 
So we— the fool, the fraud, the knave— 

That endless vigil kept. 
And through each brain on hands of pain 

Another's terror crept ^^ 

827 



II 



POEMS 

AUit it ii • fearful thing 

To feel another's guilt I 
For, right within, the nword of Sin 

Pierced to its poisoned hilt, 
And as molten lead were the tears we (hed 

For the blood we had not spilt 

The Warders with their shoes of felt 
Ciept by each padlocked door, 

And peeped and saw, with eyes of awe, 
Grey figures on the floor. 

And wondered why men knelt to pray 
Who never prayed before. 

All through the night we knelt and prayed. 

Mad mourners of a corse I 
The troubled plumes of midnight were 

The plumes upon a hearse: 
And bitter wine upon a sponge 

Was the savour of Remorse. 



The grey cock crew, the red cock crew. 

But never came the day : 
And crooked shapes of Terror crouched. 

In the comers where we lay : 
And each evil sprite that walks by night 

Before us seemed to play. 

828 



THE BALLAD OF READING GAOL 

They glided past, they glided fast. 

Like travellen. through > mist : 
They mocked the moon in • rig" -n 

Of dehcate turn and twist, 
And with formal pace and loathwme grace 

I he phantoms kept their tryst. 

With mop and mow. we saw them go, 

alim shadows hand in hand : 
About, about, in ghostly rout 

They trod a saraband : 
And the damned grotesques made arabesques. 

Like the wind upon the sand I 

With the pirouettes of marionettes. 

They tripped on pointed tread : 
But with flutes of Fear they filled the ear. 

As their grisly masque thev led 
And loud they sang, and long they sanir. 

For they sang to wake the dead. 

' ^^''}^^y "-ied, • The world is wide. 

But fettered limbs go lame ! 
And once, or twice, to throw the dice 

Is a gentlemanly game. 
But he does not win who plays with Sin 

In the secret House of Shame.' 

829 



11, 



POEMS 

No things of air these antics were, 

That frolicked with such glee : 
To men whose lives were held in gyvei, 

And whose feet might not go free. 
Ah I wounds of Christ 1 they were living things. 

Most terrible to see. 



Around, around, they waltzed and wound ; 

Some wheeled in smirking pairs ; 
With the mincing step of a demirep 

Some sidled up the stairs : 
And with subtle sneer, and fawning leer. 

Each helped us at our prayers. 

The morning wind began to moan. 

But still the night went on : 
Through its giant loom the web of gloom 

Crept till each thread was spun : 
And, as we prayed, we grew afraid 

Of the Justice of the Sun. 



The moaning wind went wandering round 

The weeping prison-wall : 
Till like a wheel of turning steel 

We felt the minutes crawl : 
O moaning wind 1 what had we done 

To have such a seneschal ? 
830 



THE BALLAD OF READING GAOL 

At last I saw the shadowed bars, 
Like a lattice wrought in lead, 

Move nght across the whitewashed wall 
That faced my three-plank bed, 

Go5-« r"'S",*r'"'^'"^''' -^ the world 
Ood s dreadful dawn was red. 

At six o'clock we cleaned our cells, 

At seven all was still. 
But the sough and swing of a mighty wing 

The prison seemed to fill, ^ 

h2' L'jrd of Death with icy breath 

Wad entered m to kill. 

He dia not pass in purple pomp, 

Nor nde a moon-white steed. 
Three yards of cord and a sliding board 

Are all the gallows' need : 
So with rope of shame the Herald came 

10 do the secret deed. 



^n7«.?u'^"?" "^^^ *•"•«"«»» » fen 
Ot falthy darkness grope : 

We did not dare to breathe a prayer. 
Or to give our anguish scope : 

Something was dead in each of us. 
And what was dead was Hope 



831 



POEMS 

For Man's grim Justice goes its way, 

And will not swerve aside : 
It slays the weak, it slays the strong. 

It has a deadly stride : 
With iron heel it slays the strong. 

The monstrous parricide ! 

We waited for the stroke of eight : 
Each tongue was thick with thirst: 

For the stroke of eight is the stroke of Fate 
That makes a man accursed. 

And Fate will use a running noose 
For the best man and the worst 

We had no other thing to do, 
Sa-'e to wait for the sign to come : 

So, like things of stone in a valley lone. 
Quiet we sat and dumb : 

But each man's heart beat thick and quick, 
Like a madman on a drum I 



With sudden shock the prison-clock 

Smote on the shivering air, 
And from all the gaol rose up a wail 

Of impotent despair. 
Like the sound that frightened marshes hear 

From some leper in his lair. 

882 



THE BALLAD OF READING GAOL 

And as one sees most fearful things 

In the crystal of a dream, 
We saw the greasy hempen rope 

Hooked to the blackened beam. 
And heard the prayer the hangman's snare 

strangled mto a scream. 

And all the woe that moved him so 

That he gave that bitter cry, 
And the wild regrets, and the bloody sweats 

None knew so well as I : 
For he who lives more lives than one 

More deaths than one must die. 



888 



POEMS 



TV 

THERE is no chapel on the day 
On which they hang a man : 
The Chaplain's heart is far too sick. 
Or his feiic is fai- too wan. 
Or there is that written in his eyes 
Which none should look upon. 

So they kept us close till nigh on noon. 

And then they rang the bell, 
And the Warders with their jingling keys 

Opened each listening cell. 
And down the iron stair we tramped, 

Each from his separate Hell. 



Out into God's sweet air we went, 

But not in wonted way. 
For this man's face was white with fear. 

And that man's face was grey. 
And I never saw sad men who looked 

So wistfully at the day. 

884 



THE BALLAD OF READING GAOL 

I never saw sad men who looked 

With such a wistful eye 
Upon that little tent of blue 

VVe prisoners called the sky. 
And at every careless cloud that passed 

In happy freedom by. 

But there were those amongst us aU 
Who walked with downcast head 

And knew that, had each got his due. 
They should have died instead : 

He had but killed a thing that lived. 
Whilst they had kiUed the dead. 

For he who sins a second time 

Wakes a dead soul to pain, 
And draws it from its spotted shroud. 

And makes it bleed again. 
And makes it bleed great gouts of blood 

And makes it bleed in vain I ' 



Like ape or clown, in monstrous garb 
With crooked arrows starred, 

Silently we went round and round. 
The slippery asphalte yard ; 

Silently we went round and round 
And no man spoke a word. 

835 



POEMS 
Silently we went round and round. 

And through each hollow mind 
The Memory of dreadful things 

Rushed like a dreadful wind. 
And Horror stalked before each man. 

And Terror crept behind. 



The Warders strutted up and down, 
And kept their herd of brutes, 

Their uniforms were spick and span. 
And they wore their Sunday suits. 

But we knew the work they had been at. 
By the quicklime on their booU 

For where a grave had opened wide. 

There was no grave at all : 
Only a stretch of mud and sand 

By the hideous prison-wall, 
And a little heap of burning lime. 

That the man should have his pall. 

For he has a pall, this wretched man. 

Such as.few men can claim : 
Deep down below a prison-yard, 

Naked for greater shame. 
He lies, with fetters on each foot. 

Wrapt in a sheet of flame 1 
836 



THE BALLAD OF READING GAOL 

And aU the while the burning lime 

Eats flesh and bone away, 
It eats the brittle bone by night. 

And the soft flesh by day, 
It eats the flesh and bone by turns. 

But it eats the heart alway. 



Fot three Jong years they will not sow 
Or root or seedling there : 

^ «r'.!'.'*^ ^°"« y^'^ *•>« unblessed spot 
Will sterile be and bare. 

And look upon the wondering sky 

With unreproaehful stare. 

They think a murderer's heart would taint 

Hjach simple seed they sow. 
It is not true I God's kindly earth 

Is kindlier than men know. 
And the red rose would but blow more red. 

ine white rose whiter blow. 

Out of his mouth a red, red rose I 

Out of his heart a white J 
For who can say by what strange way. 

Christ brings His will to light 
Since the barren staff the pilgrim bore 

Bloomed in the great Pope's sight ? 

* 887 



POEMS 

But neither n>ilk-white rose nor red 

May bloom in prison air ; 
The shard, the pebble, and the flint, 

Are what they give us there : 
For flowers have been known to hesl 

A common man's despair. 

So never will wine-red rose or white, 

PeUl by petal, fall 
On that stretch of mud and sand that lies 

By the hideous prison-wall. 
To tell the men who tramp the yard 

That God's Son died for all. 

* > ■ . 

• • • 

Yet though the hideous prison-wall 
Still hems him round and round. 

And a spirit may not walk by night 
That is with fetters bound. 

And a spirit may but weep that lies 
In such unholy ground. 



He is at peace — this wretched man 

At peace, or wiU be soon : 
There is no thing to make him mad. 

Nor does Terror walk at no-n. 
For the lampless Earth in r , he lies 

Has neither Sun nor Mo» ' 



THE BALLAD OF READING GAOL 

They hanged him as a beast is hanged • 

They did not even toll 
A requiem that might have brought 

Rest to his startled soul, 
But hurriedly they took him out. 

And hid him in a hole. 

They stripped him of his canvas clothes, 

And gave him to the flies : 
They mocked the swollen purple throat. 

And the stark and staring eyes • 
And with laughter loud they heaped the 
shroud 

In which their convict lies. 

The Chaplain would not kneel to p«y 

By his dishonoured grave : 
Nor mark it with that blessed Cross 

That Christ for sinners gave. 
Because the man was one of those 

Whom Christ came down to save. 

Yet all is well ; he has but passed 

To hfe's appointed bourne : 
And alien tears will fill for him 

Pity's long-broken um. 
For his mourners will be outcast men. 

And outcasts always mourn. 



889 



POEMS 



I KNOW not whether Laws be right. 
Or whether Laws be wrong ; 
All that we know who lie in gaol 
Is that the wall is strong ; 
And that each day is like a year, 
A year whose days are long. 

But this I know, that every Law 
That men have made for Man, 

Since first Man took his brother's life, 
And the sad world began, 

But straws the wheat and saves the chafl* 
With a most evil fan. 



This too I know — and wise it were 
If each could know the same — 

That every prison that men build 
Is built with bricks of shame, 

And bound with bars lest Christ should see 
How men their brothers maim. 

840 



THE BALLAD OF READING GAOL 

With bars they blur the gracious mora, 

And blind the goodly sun : 
And they do v sll to hide their Hell, 

For in it things are done 
That Son of God nor son of Man 

Ever should look upon I 

• 

The vilest deeds like poison weeds, 

Bloom well in prison-air ; 
It is only what is good in Man 

That wastes and withers there : 
Pale Anguish keeps the heavy gate. 

And the Warder is Despair. 

For they sUrve the little frightened child 
Till it weeps both night and day : 

And they scourge the weak, and flog the fool. 
And ^ibe the old and grey, 

And some grow mad, and all grow bad. 
And none a word may say. 

Each narrow cell in which we dwell 

Is a foul and dark latrine, 
And the fetid breath of livr g Death 

Chokes up each grated screen. 
And all, but Lust, b turned to dust 

In Humanity's machine. 

841 



POEMS 

The brackish water that we drink 
Creeps with a loathsome slime, 

And the bitter bread they weigh in scales 
Is full ofchalk and lime. 

And Sleep will not lie down, but walks 
Wild-eyed, and cries to Time. 



But though lean Hunger and green Thirst 

Like asp with adder figlit, 
We have little care of prison fare. 

For what chills and kills outrif 'it 
Is that every stone one lifts by day 

Becomes one's heart by night 

With midnight always in one's heart, 

And twilight in one's cell. 
We turn the crank, or tear the rope, 

Each in his separate Hell, 
And the silence is more awful far 

Than the sound of a brazen bell. 



And never a human voice comes near 

To speak a gentle word : 
And the eye that watches through the door 

Is pitiless and hard : 
And by all forgot, we rot and rot, 

With soul and body marred. 

842 



THE BALLAD OF READING GAOL 

And thus we rort Life's iron chain 

Degraded and alone : 
And some men curse, and some men weep, 

And some men make no moan : 
But God's eternal Laws are kind 

Anfl break the heart of stone. 



Ami every Iiumau lieart that breaks, 

In f)iis'in-cfll <t yard. 
Is as tli.if, iirokn. Lox that gave 

Its vre.isuie to the Lord, 
And filled the unclean leper's house 

VVitl' the «cent of costliest nard. 



Ah ! happy they whose hearts can brtal 

And peace of pardon winl 
How else may man make straifi t 

And cleanse his soul from SIrt 
How else but through a broken b, 

May Lord Christ enter in T 



Ills p!:\«! 



Mft 



And he of the swollen puq>le throat. 
And the stark and staring eyes, 

Waits for the lioly hands that took 
The Thief to Paradise; 

And a broken and a contrite heart 
The Lord will not despise. 



848 



POEMS 

The man in red who reads the Law 

Gave him three wedis of life. 
Three little weeks in which to heal 

His soul of his soul's strife, 
And cleanse from every blot of blood 

The hand that held the knife. 

And with tears of blood he cleansed the hand. 

The hand that held the steel : 
For only blood can wipe out blood. 

And only tears can heal ; 
And the crimson stain that was of Cain 

Became Christ's snow-white seal 



844 



THE BALLAD OF REi» "^ING GAOL 



TI 

IN Reading gaol by Reading town 
There is a pit of shame, 
And in it lies a wretched man 
Eaten by teeth of flame, 
In a burning winding-sheet he lies. 
And his grave has got no name. 

And there, till Christ call forth the dead, 

In silence let him lie : 
No need to waste the foolish tear. 

Or heave the windy sigh : 
The man had killed the thing he loved, 

And so he had to die. 

And all men kill the thing they love. 

By all let this be heard, 
Some do it wi;.h a bitter look. 

Some with a flattering word. 
The coward does it with a kiss, 

The brave man with a sword I 



345